Anticipation Definition

A situation in which an invention is too similar to an earlier invention to be considered new (or novel). Because novelty is a requirement for patentability, anticipated inventions are not patentable. An invention is usually anticipated by 1) prior publications (a news article, trade journal article, academic thesis, or prior patent), 2) prior inventions (if all significant elements of the later invention are found in an earlier one prior to the date of invention or the applications filing date), 3) placing the invention on sale more than one year prior to an applications being filed, or 4) public use or display of the invention more than a year prior to filing the patent application. (See also: one-year rule, prior art)