What is the Public Domain Exclusion?

The public domain exclusion applies to information that is published and that is generally accessible or available to the public through:

  • sales at newsstands and bookstores;
  • subscriptions which are available without restriction to any individual who desires to obtain or purchase the published information;
  • libraries open to the public or from which the public can obtain documents;
  • patents available at any patent office;
  • unlimited distribution at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show or exhibition, generally accessible to the public, in the United States;
  • public release (i.e., unlimited distribution) in any form (e.g., not necessarily in published form) after approval by the cognizant U.S. government department or agency.

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