According to article 54 of the European Patent Convention (EPC),
An invention shall be considered to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art.
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.
Additionally, the content of European patent applications as filed, the dates of filing of which are prior to the date referred to in paragraph 2 of this article and which were published on or after that date, shall be considered as comprised in the state of the art.
Paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article shall not exclude the patentability of any substance or composition, comprised in the state of the art, for use or for any specific use in a method for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body, provided that its use for any such method is not comprised in the state of the art.
What is Novelty?