On July 27, 2018, in GoPro, Inc. v. Contour IP Holding, LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a sales catalog distributed at a dealer trade show not open to the general public was publicly accessible and therefore qualified as a prior art printed publication under 35 U.S.C. Section 102(b) (2018 WL 3596007 (Fed. Cir. July 27, 2018)).
As patent and trademark attorney Sean Detweiler explains in his article As the Trade Show Season Ramps Up, Don’t Forget to Harvest Your Patentable Inventions Before Heading to the Show, prior art is any evidence that your invention was already known prior to your coming up with it. For your invention to be patentable, it needs to be compared with known “prior art” to determine whether your invention is sufficiently new or novel and not obvious in view of the known prior art to warrant patent protection. Printed publications are one category of prior art that can provide that evidence against the patentability of your invention.
Read more about the case and prior art and patentability in the full article on our website.