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Fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office

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Definition Edit

Fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office (frequently referred to as inequitable conduct) occurs when a patent applicant and the applicant's attorney fail to notify the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of any prior art known to be material to the patentability of the patent application claims.

Overview Edit

There is no requirement that the applicant perform a patentability search. The obligation is merely one of sharing knowledge. If fraud is found, the entire patent in question will be held unenforceable.

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