By Keith Aoki & James Boyle& Jennifer Jenkins

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There's still hope that you can profit from your work. If your invention nevertheless possesses "significant market novelty" (Box 24), it may in fact be quite profitable if introduced to the market. Put differently, if your patentability search produces close "prior art" (but not a dead ringer), this may indicate that no one has tried to market your specific idea before. " Examples of prior art (relevant to your invention) are (1) prior patents showing your invention or any part or feature of it, (2) prior and related technological developments which are known to the public, (3) previous descriptions of your invention (or any part or feature of it) in periodicals or textbooks, and (4) previous indications of any kind that others considered some or all of your invention's elements.

Page 9 Part A The Work Diary What's in It This part of The Inventor's Notebook contains the following sections: · Record Your Conception (Section A1) · Record the Building and Testing of Your Invention (Section A2) · Other Possible Applications of Your Invention (Section A3) · Record Your Trademark Conception (Section A4), and · Record Your Distinctive Design Conception (Section A5). A well-maintained work diary will be of crucial importance should your inventorship or your eligibility for a patent ever be called into question by the Patent and Trademark Office, other inventors, or companies which you have sued for infringement.

Awareness of prior art usually comes from: · reviewing previously issued patents · researching trade journal articles and · carefully checking wholesale and retail channels to see whether a similar product has been marketed. It is important for you to conduct a preliminary search of relevant prior art to determine whether your invention is sufficiently innovative to qualify for a patent. Keep careful track of the prior art references you accumulate in the course of your preliminary search. This is because later, when you file your patent application, you will need to list all prior art known to you.

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