2152.04 The Meaning of "Disclosure" [R-11.2013]
[Editor Note: This MPEP section is only applicable to applications subject to examination under the first inventor to file (FITF) provisions of the AIA as set forth in 35 U.S.C. 100 (note). See MPEP § 2159 et seq. to determine whether an application is subject to examination under the FITF provisions, and MPEP § 2131-MPEP § 2138 for examination of applications subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102.]
The AIA does not define the term "disclosure," and AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) does not use the term "disclosure." AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(1) and (b)(2), however, each state conditions under which a "disclosure" that otherwise falls within AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1) or 102(a)(2) is not prior art under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1) or 102(a)(2). Thus, the Office is treating the term "disclosure" as a generic expression intended to encompass the documents and activities enumerated in AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) (i.e., being patented, described in a printed publication, in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public, or being described in a U.S. patent, U.S. patent application publication, or WIPO published application).