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Best Mode

Smith Hopen Intellectual Property Term Glossary Definition for Best Mode
The first paragraph of 35 U.S.C. 112 states: "The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention." This statute imposes an affirmative obligation on the inventor to disclose the best version of the invention, not the second best or some other inferior version. Thus, no trade secrets may be withheld from a patent application. If a part or formulation is not generally known, the inventor must disclose the source thereof. The best mode requirement is entirely subjective. In other words, there is no requirement to disclose the absolute best way of carrying out the invention; instead, the inventor must disclose the best way known to him or her at the time the patent application is filed.


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