State of the art

related topics
{law, state, case}
{theory, work, human}
{work, book, publish}
{language, word, form}
{system, computer, user}
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but not when used as a noun as in the following sentence:[1]

The state of the art is the highest level of development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field, achieved at a particular time. It also applies to the level of development (as of a device, procedure, process, technique, or science) reached at any particular time usually as a result of modern methods.



The earliest usage of the term "state of the art" documented by the Oxford English Dictionary dates back to 1910 from an engineering manual by Henry Harrison Suplee (1856-post 1943), an engineering graduate (U. Of Pennsylvania, 1876), titled Gas Turbine: progress in the design and construction of turbines operated by gases of combustion. It reads: "In the present state of the art this is all that can be done."

Patent law

In the context of the European and Australian patent law, the term "state of the art" is a concept used in the process of assessing and asserting novelty and inventive step,[2] and is a synonym of the expression "prior art". In the European Patent Convention (EPC), "[the] state of the art shall be held to comprise everything made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the European patent application" according to Article 54(2) EPC. Due account should be taken of Article 54(3) EPC as well, but merely for the examination of novelty.

The expression "background art" is also used in certain legal provisions, such as Rule 42(1)(b) and(c) EPC (previously Rule 27(1)(b) and (c) EPC 1973), and has the same meaning.[3]


See also

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