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Prior Art

Prior art refers to any publicly available information that may be relevant to a patent claim’s novelty. It can include earlier patents, scientific publications, technical documents, public demonstrations or even commercial products. When someone applies for a patent, the examiner searches public records to check if the invention meets the criteria for patentability. If the invention is not new, it may not qualify for patent protection. By disclosing existing knowledge, prior art serves as a barrier to the monopolisation of ideas and promotes innovation by preventing frivolous patents. In the technology sector, prior art plays a crucial role in ensuring a competitive marketplace where companies can freely innovate without fear of infringing on overly broad patents by promoting transparency and accountability in the patent system.