Patexia An Introduction to Prior Art Search

Prior Art SearchWhy are we doing this?

Patexia is trying to determine if a patent idea was known and publicly available before a certain date.

Think of yourself as a fact checker. We need your help understanding if this patent is the first time a combination of features has ever been published.

What’s the ideal submission?

An ideal submission will include:

  • a single argument about why the patent idea was known before the patent existed
  • a reference that was filed or published before a certain date
  • explained answers that cite published reference that prove how well the idea was known
  • proof that the reference generally describes the idea described in our questions


  • a single argument means that the entire submission is focused in proving the patent idea was known beforehand
  • an example is a submission with a single reference that is used to answer our questions
  • another example is a submission with three references that includes an explanation of how they were intended to be combined, and together are used to answer our questions
  • an example of what is not a single argument is a submission with multiple references, with no explanation as to how they should be combined

Before a certain date...What’s the right date?

We’re looking for references that have been filed or published before a specific date. Anything too late, the reference is too recent to prove that an idea was known beforehand.

If you’re working with patents, here’s a great USPTO flowchart to help you figure out the effective filing date.

How do I get $?

For Prior Art Search contests, we will use a single contest prize pool distribution where:

  • we award winners/runners up and money based on the entirety of their submission
  • you can earn money if your submission is amongst the top ranked in the entire Contest

You are competing with your peers in submitting:

  1. the best ranked argument and explanation for how well the idea or technology was known beforehand
  2. the best ranked reference(s) in the entire Contest

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