While browsing patents for insecticide related inventions that use denatonium as an aversive agent, i noticed two patents that use the exact same paragraph in their description. The text can be found both in paragraph 0014 of patent 20220046919 and in in paragraph 0005 of patent 20220142159. Both inventions share one inventor in common.

According to ChatGPT, plagiarism in a patent description can lead to issues of patentability, validity and enforceability. A single inventor is allowed to re-use prior work when filing for a patent that builds on a previous patent. But these patents are filed by different inventors, each group having one inventor in common (Veera Parasu Uppara).

I don't know if this could be seen as a case of plagiarism, but it did get me wondering; Could plagiarism indeed lead to issues in patentability and validity? If so, in what ways?

  • 1
    You are making a big mistake to rely on ChatGPT.
    – George White
    Aug 15, 2023 at 19:30
  • Just like to point out that neither of the linked documents are patents. They are applications which may or may not be granted.
    – Eric S
    Aug 16, 2023 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


No “plagiarism” is not a grounds for questioning patent validity.

Patent documents often use the same or similar language, especially from common inventors. There are many patent families with entirely identical specifications but different claims. In other cases only the background sections are identical.

Even completely unrelated inventor/inventions often use borrowed “boiler plate” language.

An example -

It should be understood at the outset that, although exemplary embodiments are illustrated in the figures and described below, the principles of the present disclosure may be implemented using any number of techniques, whether currently known or not. The present disclosure should in no way be limited to the exemplary implementations and techniques illustrated in the drawings and described below.

Fundamentally, plagiarism isn’t even a legal problem but an issue of academic honesty in giving credit where credit is due. Copyright is a legal issue and theoretically patents can have copyrights but in practice it is a non-issue.

  • Parts of patents may be copied to support an explanation of why the current innovation is BETTER. If you use the exact same information to derive your innovation, then the "prior art" will take precedence.
    – Moti
    Aug 28, 2023 at 3:57
  • @Moti — 1. Patents are not given for being better they are given for being different in a non-obvious way. 2. It is out of style to make direct comparisons to previous solutions in the text if a patent application. 3. If you have a patentable twist on old art you might discuss it. 4. Of course your claimed invention needs to be novel and not obvious in light of prior art.
    – George White
    Aug 28, 2023 at 4:41
  • I was referring to this specific case. Clearly, an improvement (better) is suggested by focusing on a subset of an existing patent or practice. As part of it, you can COPY a section from an existing patent (or other prior art) and then extend it. It is like combining the independent claim with a dependent claim that was missing or overlooked by existing prior art.
    – Moti
    Aug 29, 2023 at 5:17

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