Duty of Candor

Each individual associated with the filing and prosecution of a patent application in the United States Patent Office has, under Rule 56 of the Rules of Practice of the USPTO, a duty of “candor and good faith” in dealing with the Patent Office, which includes a duty to disclose all information known to be material to patentability, including information that might detract from patentability. Failure to do so is at least inequitable conduct, but can rise to the level of “fraud on the patent office.” Disclosures should include information and publications that might tend to undermine arguments made by the applicant in favor of patentability as well as art cited by non-U.S. patent offices in related applications.

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