MPEP 2154.01
Prior Art Under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) "U.S. Patent Documents"

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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2154.01    Prior Art Under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) "U.S. Patent Documents" [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.]

AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) sets forth three types of patent documents that are available as prior art as of the date they were effectively filed with respect to the subject matter relied upon in the document if they name another inventor: (1) U.S. patents; (2) U.S. patent application publications; and (3) certain WIPO published applications. These documents are referred to collectively as "U.S. patent documents." These documents may have different prior art effects under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) than under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2). Note that a U.S. patent document may also be prior art under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1) if its issue or publication date is before the effective filing date of the claimed invention in question.

If the issue date of the U.S. patent or publication date of the U.S. patent application publication or WIPO published application is not before the effective filing date of the claimed invention, it may be applicable as prior art under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) if it was "effectively filed" before the effective filing date of the claimed invention in question with respect to the subject matter relied upon to reject the claim. MPEP § 2152.01 discusses the "effective filing date" of a claimed invention. AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(d) sets forth the criteria to determine when subject matter described in a U.S. patent document was "effectively filed" for purposes of AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2).