Information Disclosures Statements are used to notify the Patent Office of the art (inventions, publications, etc.) that may bear on the invention that the Applicant is trying to get patented. They should be used anytime a search is performed before or during examination of an application. Generally, they are used to disclose prior art found during a patentability or clearance search that is conducted in preparation of submitting an application. However, sometimes the applicant will become aware of prior art after the application is filed. This might happen for a variety of reasons, such as a foreign Patent Office has performed a search, the applicant has done additional searching, or the application was filed hastily and pending independent searches were still be returned. Even though the application has already been filed, the IDS should be submitted. Doing so ensures that the applicant satisfies its duty of candor to the Patent Office, a duty every applicant bears when dealing with the Patent Office. A supplemental IDS should thus be filed. Multiple IDSs may be filed in a single patent application, and the Examiner will consider each one as long it is in compliance with the formal requirements governing IDSs.
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