Novelty refers to the patent claim requirement that is patentable. Any invention could not be considered new and hence not patentable if it is unknown to public before the date of filing of the patent application. In other way, the invention could not be regarded as new invention if its patent is known before its priority date in case the applicant claims priority of a previous patent application. Novelty is done for the purpose of preventing any previous art from being repeatedly patented. In order to assess an invention’s novelty, a search within the prior art is performed wherein the word “art” refers to the relevant technical field. Prior art search is conducted to let it known that the proposed invention is old or not new.
Novelty or one could say Patent law dates back to 1474 starting with the Venetian Statute. Evidences also suggest that the patent rights originated initially in Ancient Greece. In the Greek city of Sybaris (now situated in southern Italy) in 500 B.C. , it was stated that anyone who discovers or invents anything new shall be encouraged with profits coming from the patent coming from the inventor in the space of one year. The credit for starting the novelty is mostly given to Athenaeus from Greece who wrote about the novelty system stating that exclusive rights in Sybaris were granted to the creators of novel culinary dishes for one year. In England, John Kempe is attributed as having started the novelty patent system.
Novelty provides an individual with the legal right to any invention. Patent protection or novelty is needed for any inventor to feel safe and protected from her or his invention being copied or duplicated. Without novelty, competitors could easily steal the idea and claim it as their own. When the competitors steal the ideas, the inventor could not take any legal action. To make sure that the invention maintains a legal status and prevent it from falling under the prior art category, it should follow certain norms. When these norms are followed, novelty becomes extremely necessary and important for the inventors. Inventors have to ensure that they submit their ideas without fail as soon as they could so that their patent is not discarded based on novelty.
Novelty is used mostly to protect any new idea or invention from being copied or duplicated. Furthermore, novelty is also used to make sure that the inventor’s hard work is paid off and she or he has her or his due credit for the invention. Novelty is required to claim the patent that is patentable. Another use of novelty is that it is mandatory for the inventor to meet else his or her invention would not be considered new. Novelty is necessary to have a legal status to the invention or new idea presented by an individual. For example, an inventor with a new idea or invention wants to protect her or his idea from being published for patent, and then she or he uses novelty to protect it from being published.
Novelty has faced several criticisms due to its provision of limited exclusive rights to the inventor. The novelty system comprises fundamental bargain. With a view to support invention based on genuine technical research, the government does not provide unlimited exclusive rights to the inventors. In order to encourage the tough attempts to solve complicated scientific problems, inventors are given an incentive of limited exclusivity. Such a bargain is mixed with entrepreneurship, with several inventors competing to promote a dynamic economic progress. However, it is also true that patent is only an elaborate disclosure of an invention. It provides the inventor with some rights as a reward for inventing an original idea.
Obviousness is a topic related closely to novelty. In order to receive a patent, any idea or invention could not be obvious, to the professional or the industry or even to the non-experts. Many inventors do not always manage to figure out obviousness and unknowingly annul their invention or idea. For example, an article might explain a particular issue and provide a solution and if the invention fits that explanation, it will be regarded as obvious. The case for the inventor becomes stronger if her or his invention merges ideas from numerous publications. Nonetheless, there are high chances of a patent application being rejected if it is linked in some or the other way to various references.
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