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U.S. patent law Edit
A filing date refers to the date of receipt in the U.S. Patent Office of a application which includes (1) a specification containing a description and, if the application is a nonprovisional application, at least one claim, and (2) any required drawings.
The actual filing date of the patent application is important because the presumption is that patent applications filed and documents published after the priority date do not constitute prior art for purposes of the earlier filed patent application.