MPEP Section 2172, Subject Matter Which Applicants Regard as Their Invention
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2172 Subject Matter Which Applicants Regard as Their Invention
I. FOCUS FOR EXAMINATION
A rejection based on the failure to satisfy this requirement is appropriate only where applicant has stated, somewhere other than in the application as filed, that the invention is something different from what is defined by the claims. In other words, the invention set forth in the claims must be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to be that which applicants regard as their invention. In re Moore, 439 F.2d 1232, 169 USPQ 236 (CCPA 1971).
II. EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY
Evidence that shows that a claim does not correspond in scope with that which applicant regards as applicant's invention may be found, for example, in contentions or admissions contained in briefs or remarks filed by applicant, Solomon v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 216 F.3d 1372, 55 USPQ2d 1279 (Fed. Cir. 2000); In re Prater, 415 F.2d 1393, 162 USPQ 541 (CCPA 1969), or in affidavits filed under 37 CFR 1.132, In re Cormany, 476 F.2d 998, 177 USPQ 450 (CCPA 1973). The content of applicant's specification is not used as evidence that the scope of the claims is inconsistent with the subject matter which applicants regard as their invention. As noted in In re Ehrreich, 590 F.2d 902, 200 USPQ 504 (CCPA 1979), agreement, or lack thereof, between the claims and the specification is properly considered only with respect to 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph; it is irrelevant to compliance with the second paragraph of that section.
III. SHIFT IN CLAIMS PERMITTED
The second paragraph of 35 U.S.C. 112 does not prohibit applicants from changing what they regard as their invention during the pendency of the application. In re Saunders, 444 F.2d 599, 170 USPQ 213 (CCPA 1971) (Applicant was permitted to claim and submit comparative evidence with respect to claimed subject matter which originally was only the preferred embodiment within much broader claims (directed to a method).). The fact that claims in a continuation application were directed to originally disclosed subject matter which applicants had not regarded as part of their invention when the parent application was filed was held not to prevent the continuation application from receiving benefits of the filing date of the parent application under 35 U.S.C. 120. In re Brower, 433 F.2d 813, 167 USPQ 684 (CCPA 1970).