Should the "Prior Art" and "Public Domain" tags be made synonyms of each other? Or is it separate enough and distinct that they should remain separate tags?

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would leave them separated.

  • Not all prior art must be in the public domain. Consider an active patent, which could count as prior art.
  • Not all questions about public domain materials (even within the scope of this site) are related to prior art. Consider questions about how patent documents enter the public domain, or what that may mean to the patent holders.
  • Good points which I had not considered. – J. Roibal - BlockchainEng Jul 9 '16 at 23:48
  • Conversely there are several types of secret prior art that are not currently available to the public. A further complication is that there are two different systems in play now and for many years as we will have patent applications filed before and after the changes in rules put in place by the America Invents Act which made changes. – Kevin E Flynn Sep 30 '16 at 18:59

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