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The performance of an act or obligation before it is legally due. In patent law, the publication of the existence of an invention that has already been patented or has a patent pending, which are grounds for denying a patent to an invention that has substantially the same structure and function as the earlier invention.

In the law of Negligence, anticipation refers to the knowledge that there is a reasonable probability that the consequences of particular conduct of one individual will result in injury to others.

The anticipation of an invention also occurs if the later invention is merely an Adaptation of an earlier patent, which would be obvious to a skilled person who need only exercise some mechanical skill to develop the same adaptation.


(Expectation), noun apprehension, divination, forecast, foreseeing, foresight, insight, intuition, preconception, prediction, prescience, presentiment, prolepsis, second sight


(Likelihood), noun contemplation, foreboding, forecast, hope, outlook, possibility, preconception, preoccupation, presumption, prevision, probability, prospect
Associated concepts: anticipation of income, anticipation of injuries
See also: advancement, expectation, forethought, likelihood, loan, outlook, possibility, precaution, preconception, preparation, presumption, probability, prospect

ANTICIPATION. The act of doing or taking a thing before its proper time.
     2. In deeds of trust there is frequently a provision that the income of the estate shall be paid by the trustee as it shall accrue, and not by way of anticipation. A payment made contrary to such provision would not be considered as a discharge of the trustee.

References in classic literature ?
I lay quiet, looking out from under my eyelashes in an agony of delightful anticipation.
I felt the same horrible anticipation, too, of an imminent smash.
The sun crept higher in the sky, and after a time their talk died out and gave place to an uneasy state of anticipation.
And he looked round to see if anybody partook of his opinion; but on the contrary, he saw nothing but eager eyes which were devouring, in anticipation, that sublime fowl which was the object of his contempt.
But three weeks had already passed, and the most diligent search had been unsuccessful; the attempted robbery and the murder of the robber by his comrade were almost forgotten in anticipation of the approaching marriage of Mademoiselle Danglars to the Count Andrea Cavalcanti.
He was filled with anxiety, and his face was pinched and drawn in anticipation of the pain of any sudden mistake of his feet in the gloom.
It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity-- to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment.
In anticipation of some ambuscade in each of these little woods the tutor placed his two servants at the head of the band, thus forming the advance guard.
Their niaisiries were endless, and there was just as much of the low bred anticipation as to their future purchases, as one sees at the balls of the Champs Elysee on the subject of partners.
Arthur broke the seal with an agreeable anticipation of soon seeing the writer.
There was a fearful dismay in this suggestion of my excited imagination, and if I had allowed myself time to dwell upon it, I should no doubt have cut there and then, rushed back to my chamber, and bolted myself in; but whenever a danger or a horror is veiled with uncertainty, the primary wish of the mind is to ascertain first the naked truth, reserving the expedient of flight for the moment when its dread anticipation shall be realized.
When, as a child, I first opened my eyes on a Sunday-morning, a feeling of dismal anticipation, which began at least on the Friday, culminated.