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Intellectual property plays a significant role in the U.S. economy, and the United States is an acknowledged leader in its creation. Industries that relied on IP protection were estimated to account for over half of all U.S. exports and employed about 18 million Americans in 2006.
U.S. government efforts to protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights domestically and overseas are crucial to preventing billions of dollars in losses to U.S. industry and IP rights owners and to avoiding health and safety risks resulting from the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.
Under U.S. patent law, a patent must describe the subject invention in enough detail for someone skilled in that field to use or make it. In cases involving biological materials, the inventor may have to submit a sample.