Dissertations are a rich source of non-patent literature for prior art searches, explains Ron Kaminecki.
Prior art, for the purposes of searching for non-patent literature, can be defined as any publication or even sale of goods prior to a critical date involved with an application for a patent. This critical date can be one year before application for a US patent or one day prior to application to other patent authorities. Many practitioners dutifully search the patent literature to find prior art because it is easily accessible, relatively inexpensive, fairly extensive and provides easily identifiable dates.
Patent applicants will focus on researching published patent applications and granted patents for prior art, but they should not forget to search non-patent literature (NPL), which may provide compelling evidence in patent prosecution or even litigation. Any relevant prior art found may be helpful to the applicant in drawing up realistic claims for an invention and could also obviate a rejection by an examiner.
Dissertations as prior art
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Dissertations, prior art