clean room

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Clean room is a method of developing proprietary material in which a development team works in an isolated environment to ensure that the work is authentic and is not copied. The purpose is to provide evidence that similarities to others works is because of legitimate reasons and not copying. 

In the context of intellectual property, clean room technique means to develop new technology in a room from which all trade secrets, other licensed know-how, or copyrighted material have been excluded, thus making sure that the technology is independently developed and is not subject to any infringement claims.  

In the context of manufacturing products, clean room is a controlled environment where contaminants such as dust or bacteria are filtered out to provide the cleanest possible environment for manufacturing products such as pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]