The method mentioned above was not patented or published anywhere but has been used in the U.K. and only in the U.K. since 1997. Another person who independently invented the same method in Australia in 2001 wants to obtain a patent in Australia. She:
1 and 3
1. could do it without major problems
3. could do it only if the method has not been described in a written publication anywhere in the world
Why? In Australia and other countries, including European countries, an inventor would not be entitled for a patent on his/her invention if the invention has been used by others in the country where protection is sought. In other countries, notably the United States, the invention must have been known in the U.S. to prevent a patent by others. In the U.S., Europe, Australia and many other countries, patenting is barred by a description of the invention in a printed publication anywhere in the world before the filing date for a patent application. Please be aware that these rules may not be followed in every country. The precise rule should be looked at for each particular country in which you are filing an application. This question serves, however, to illustrate common types of prior art that an inventor needs to be aware.