Category Archives: Prior art

Changes to US Patent Law – New Rules for Prior Art

There’s a nice summary of the recent changes in U.S. patent law in the Jan. issue of Physics Today, and their relevance to academic scientists and engineers. The American Invents Act moves the U.S. from a first-to-invent system to a … Continue reading

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Wikipedia References in US Patents Increase in 2011

Wikipedia continues to be a favorite source of prior art references for inventors filing patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The number of issued U.S. patents that cite Wikipedia articles increased by 26.3 percent in 2011, reaching … Continue reading

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Wikipedia References Increase 81 Percent in 2010

The number of US patents that cite Wikipedia increased again in 2010. Approximately 1,461 patents issued last year contain one or more references to Wikipedia articles, 81 percent more than in 2009. Although this is a tiny fraction of the … Continue reading

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Wikipedia Not an Authoritative Source, Judges Tell Govt. Officials

Several Canadian judges have criticized immigration officials for citing Wikipedia articles in decisions to deport or deny entrance to foreigners. (Judges rap Wiki-evidence… Globe and Mail, Apr. 21) This is the most recent case of government agents using the online … Continue reading

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Wikipedia References in Issued Patents

Back in September 2006 the USPTO banned patent examiners from using Wikipedia as a source of prior art information, citing its unreliability and lack of authority. Well, this apparently hasn’t stopped examiners or inventors from citing the popular online encyclopedia … Continue reading

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E-Documents as Prior Art

Wynn Coggins, director for the USPTO’s Group 3620 (Electronic Commerce), has written an article called “When is an Electronic Document a Printed Publication for Prior Art Purposes?

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