A patentable invention needs to meet the requirements of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.
A patentable invention needs to meet the requirements of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. If it fails to meet one of these requirements, then a patent will not be granted or it will be open to a cancellation claim.
Not only can the discovery of prior art cause an invention to lose its novelty, public use of the invention can endanger an invention’s novelty too, even if the use is only on a small scale.
The question in such cases is not whether the invention becomes known to ‘experts’, the question is whether the invention becomes freely accessible. However, public disclosure of an invention cannot harm its novelty if the parties with access to the invention are sworn to secrecy and do not breach that obligation.