In most patent laws, prior art or state of the art is all information that has been disclosed to the public in any form before a given date. However, under United States Patent Law, non-public prior art, such as a sale carried out in secret (e.g., under a non-disclosure agreement), qualifies as prior art in certain circumstances. In Europe, prior art does not include information kept secret, whether from trade secrecy or just a simple lack of interest in publication. (cited from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_Art)
- 60 minutes easy listening introduction on Prior Art
- Slides: http://www.pubpat.org/Finding_Prior_Art/PUBPAT%20Finding%20Prior%20Art%20Slides.pdf
- Audio Portion of Finding Prior Art for an Issued Patent Program - ca. 60 minutes OGG 39MB / MP3 44MB
- Published publically (this includes web publishing)
- Understandable by a person of regular skill in the field.
- Publication date (not necessarily the public publication date?)
- The art itself (or a reference to it, if copyright considerations prohibit including the art itself)
- If the art itself is not understandable by a person of regular skill in the field, it must be accompanied by appropriate explanatory material.
Things easily showing a "publication date"
- version-control archives
- mailing list archives
- Usenet archives
- TV-Shows / Videos
- CDs / DVDs