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I have several embodiments of similar devices that all do the same thing, but in slightly different ways. Many of them use some of the same elements (pieces).

So my question is this: as soon as I introduce one piece in the detailed description ("a gear 110"), does that "introduction" last for the whole rest of the specification ("gear 110") OR when I write the description for another embodiment, do I introduce it again?

Thanks!

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You don't introduce it again, unless you want to clutter your description with annoying repetitions.

There are two main ways of doing this “right“ (and of course a bunch of variations).

You can describe your invention as one example and describe the alternatives only per element. For example:

a vehicle with a motor 1 and a windshield 2. In one embodiment the vehicle has 4 wheels 3. In another embodiment, the vehicle has two caterpillar tracks 5.

Or you describe each example separately and just reference the old parts for example by saying something like:

In this embodiment motor 1 and windshield 2 can be as described previously for the first embodiment.

I prefer the first way. Just make sure to be consistent and clear. It's important to make it clear how things work, it doesn't matter so much how you do that.

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