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Prior Art
In patent law, all technology and publications available before the date of invention or anything available about the invention more than one year prior to filing the application. A patent will not issue if prior art is uncovered by a patent examiner that demonstrates somebody already came up with the same idea -- that is, all of the significant elements in the applicant's innovation were embodied in an existing innovation.
LA-NOLO6:DRU.1.6.1.20140626.27175