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Our patent system is based on a quid-pro-quo: in exchange for the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using and selling the patented invention for 20 years from the patent’s earliest filing date, the inventor must (1) disclose to the public in his/her patent application, among other things, a description of the invention in sufficient detail enabling others to make it; and (2) be candid with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) during the patent application process, making sure to disclose to the PTO all information of which he/she is aware material to the issue of patentability.

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