Law - State of the Art

This description of the state of the art should set the stage for the (later) disclosure of your invention. You need not give full references to patent and non-patent publications that set out the state of the art - that will also come later, if necessary. Take care not the call anything "prior art" because the definition of that term is very complex and the mere fact that you call a reference prior art in a patent application means that the patent office can assume that what it discloses was invented before you made your invention. You can call technology in your description of the state of the art "related art" or "background art" but never specifically state that anything existed before you made your invention - because you could be permanently wrong. (Weird rules, huh?)

When (if) a patent application is filed, this information will become a part of the Background of the Invention section. (Skip a line between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.)

The position of the USPTO on this issue is described in the following section(s) of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP):

MPEP 608.01(c) - Background of the Invention
MPEP 2129 - Admissions as Prior Art
MPEP 609 - Information Disclosure Statement

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