novelty. 1.Trade secrets. The newness of information that is generally unused or unknown and that gives its owner a competitive advantage in a business field. • In the law of trade secrets, novelty does not require independent conception or even originality. A rediscovered technique with marketable applications can qualify as a novelty and be protected as a trade secret. 2.Patents. Newness of an invention both in form and in function or performance; the strict statutory requirement that this originality be demonstrated before an invention is patentable. • Proving novelty is one purpose of the rigorous and expensive examination process. If the invention has been previously patented, described in a publication, known or used by others, or sold, it is not novel. 35 USCA § 102. Cf. NONOBVIOUSNESS. [Cases: Patents 37.C.J.S. Patents §§ 29–30.]

“Although the statute uses the words ‘not known,’ these are not to be taken literally. Novelty consists primarily in the invention not having been used by others in the United States or patented

or described in any printed publication in this or any foreign country.” Roger Sherman Hoar, Patent Tactics and the Law 36–37 (3d ed. 1950).

absolute novelty.Patents. The rule in most countries, but not in the United States, that an inventor must always file a patent application before the invention is publicly used, placed on sale, or disclosed. • Under U.S. law, an inventor is given a one-year grace period — beginning on the date of any public use, sale, offer of sale, or publication by the inventor or the inventor’s agent — in which to file a patent application. After that, the patent is barred. Canada and Mexico also give the first inventor or the inventor’s assignees a one-year grace period for filing, but they bar a patent for the first inventor if the invention is independently developed and disclosed by someone else during that time. — Also termed absolute-novelty requirement. Cf. BAR DATE.

[Blacks Law 8th]