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corrupt misbehavior by an officer in the exercise of the duties of the office or while acting under color of the office; includes any act or omission in breach of a duty of public concern by one who has accepted public office.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016
"This court has held "inequitable conduct" in the PTO to be a more appropriate label than "fraud". J.P. Stevens & Co. v. Lex Tex Ltd., 747 F.2d 1553 at 1559 (Fed.Cir.1984). Hence, this opinion will use the phrase "inequitable conduct" rather than "fraud"."
"Inequitable conduct requires proof by clear and convincing evidence of a threshold degree of materiality of the nondisclosed or false information. That threshold can be established by any of four tests: (1) objective "but for"; (2) subjective "but for"; (3) "but it may have been"; and (4) 37 C.F.R. § 1.56(a), i.e., whether there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable examiner would have considered the omitted or false information important in deciding whether to allow the application to issue as a patent."
- Atlas v EI Dupont, 750 F.2d 1569 (Fed. Cir. 1984)