MPEP 2304.02(a)
Identifying the Other Application or Patent

Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 10.2019, Last Revised in June 2020

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2304.02(a)    Identifying the Other Application or Patent [R-08.2012]

37 C.F.R. 41.202 Suggesting an interference.

  • (a) Applicant. An applicant, including a reissue applicant, may suggest an interference with another application or a patent. The suggestion must:
    • (1) Provide sufficient information to identify the application or patent with which the applicant seeks an interference,


Usually an applicant seeking an interference will know the application serial number or the patent number of the application or patent, respectively, with which it seeks an interference. If so, providing that number will fully meet the identification requirement of 37 CFR 41.202(a)(1).

Occasionally, an applicant will believe another interfering application exists based only on indirect evidence, for instance through a journal article, a "patent pending" notice, or a foreign published application. In such cases, information about likely named inventors and likely assignees may lead to the right application. The applicant should be motivated to help the examiner identify the application since inadequate information may prevent the declaration of the suggested interference.