Avoid Statutory Bars
the invention is patented or described in a printed publication any-
where in the world. The applicant does not have to be aware of the
publication. Therefore, references published in foreign countries
may be used as references to prevent a person from getting a patent
for an invention. Publications are not limited to patents and technical
articles. For example, trade catalogs are treated as publications 3 as
well as theses and dissertations 4 if they have been catalogued and are
available to the public in a library. In addition, abstracts of talks pre-
sented at technical meetings are also considered to be publications if
they are made publicly available. Although not yet litigated, it is safe
to assume that articles published on the Internet are also considered
to be publications.
A new polymer made from monomers A and B was
invented. A Japanese abstract, published before the
date of the invention and disclosing a polymer pro-
duced from monomers A and B, was found during a
literature search. Because of the teaching in the ab-
stract, the inventor was barred from getting a patent.
WARNING: Publication of the invention before the ap-
plicant's date of invention will prevent the applicant
from obtaining a patent for the invention.
WARNING: The applicant does not have to be aware of
the reference that discloses the invention.
TIP: If time and resources permit, conduct both a U.S.
and a foreign literature search in addition to an Inter-
net search before filing for a patent.