The patent laws usually require that, in order
- for an invention to be patentable, it must
- be of patentable subject matter, ie a kind of subject-matter that is eligible for patent protection
- be novel (i.e. at least some aspect of it must be new)
- be non-obvious or involve an inventive step and
- be useful
Novelty is a patentability test, according to which an invention is not patentable if it was already known before the date of filing, or before the date of priority if a priority is claimed, of the patent application.
Filing & Priority date – The filing or priority date of a patent application is the date the patent application was filed in one or more patent offices.
However, if you have filed previous applications for your same invention (either domestic or foreign), then this date can become the date that any one of those earlier applications was filed so long as you make a proper claim of priority to those earlier applications. This date can be absolutely critical with respect to opposing a novelty or other prior art type rejection that you receive from the PTO.
- Patentability searches are typically performed before a patent application is prepared in order to determine whether or not the invention will be patentable based on the published prior art that currently exists.
- Patentability searches cover all of the granted and published applications of the major patent offices; as well as domain relevant non-patent literature.