Absolute novelty is the "nirvana of newness," the "nadir of knownness." An invention that possesses the quality of absolute novelty was not publicly known, was not sold or offered for sale (publicly or secretly) and was not made available to the public anywhere in any way prior to some critical date. Absolute novelty is not required for an invention to be patentable in the U.S., but if an invention does possess this quality, it definitely meets the novelty requirements of U.S. patent law. For this reason, Patent Partner uses the concept of absolute novelty as defined above to simplify the U.S. patentability evaluation. If an invention is not absolutely novel, then each actual novelty rule, all of which are more complex than the concept of absolute novelty, must be tested. For the purposes of this evaluation, the "critical date" in the U.S. is the earlier of the date of invention or the U.S. filing date.