2162 Policy Underlying 35 U.S.C. 112, First Paragraph
To obtain a valid patent, a patent application must be filed that contains a full and clear disclosure of the invention in the manner prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph. The requirement for an adequate disclosure ensures that the public receives something in return for the exclusionary rights that are granted to the inventor by a patent. The grant of a patent helps to foster and enhance the development and disclosure of new ideas and the advancement of scientific knowledge. Upon the grant of a patent in the U.S., information contained in the patent becomes a part of the information available to the public for further research and development, subject only to the patentee’s right to exclude others during the life of the patent.
In exchange for the patent rights granted, 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph, sets forth the minimum requirements for the quality and quantity of information that must be contained in the patent to justify the grant. As discussed in more detail below, the patentee must disclose in the patent sufficient information to put the public in possession of the invention and to enable those skilled in the art to make and use the invention. The applicant must not conceal from the public the best way of practicing the invention that was known to the patentee at the time of filing the patent application. Failure to fully comply with the disclosure requirements could result in the denial of a patent, or in a holding of invalidity of an issued patent.