MPEP 2131.05
Nonanalogous or Disparaging Prior Art

Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2022, Last Revised in February 2023

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2131.05    Nonanalogous or Disparaging Prior Art [R-08.2012]

"Arguments that the alleged anticipatory prior art is ‘nonanalogous art’ or ‘teaches away from the invention’ or is not recognized as solving the problem solved by the claimed invention, [are] not ‘germane’ to a rejection under section 102." Twin Disc, Inc. v. United States, 231 USPQ 417, 424 (Cl. Ct. 1986) (quoting In re Self, 671 F.2d 1344, 213 USPQ 1, 7 (CCPA 1982)). See also State Contracting & Eng’ g Corp. v. Condotte America, Inc., 346 F.3d 1057, 1068, 68 USPQ2d 1481, 1488 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (The question of whether a reference is analogous art is not relevant to whether that reference anticipates. A reference may be directed to an entirely different problem than the one addressed by the inventor, or may be from an entirely different field of endeavor than that of the claimed invention, yet the reference is still anticipatory if it explicitly or inherently discloses every limitation recited in the claims.).

A reference is no less anticipatory if, after disclosing the invention, the reference then disparages it. The question whether a reference "teaches away" from the invention is inapplicable to an anticipation analysis. Celeritas Technologies Ltd. v. Rockwell International Corp., 150 F.3d 1354, 1361, 47 USPQ2d 1516, 1522-23 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (The prior art was held to anticipate the claims even though it taught away from the claimed invention. "The fact that a modem with a single carrier data signal is shown to be less than optimal does not vitiate the fact that it is disclosed."). See Upsher-Smith Labs. v. Pamlab, LLC, 412 F.3d 1319, 1323, 75 USPQ2d 1213, 1215 (Fed. Cir. 2005)(claimed composition that expressly excluded an ingredient held anticipated by reference composition that optionally included that same ingredient); see also Atlas Powder Co. v. IRECO, Inc., 190 F.3d 1342, 1349, 51 USPQ2d 1943, 1948 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (Claimed composition was anticipated by prior art reference that inherently met claim limitation of "sufficient aeration" even though reference taught away from air entrapment or purposeful aeration.).