MPEP 602.01(a)
Inventor’s Oath or Declaration in Application Filed On or After September 16, 2012

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

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602.01(a)    Inventor’s Oath or Declaration in Application Filed On or After September 16, 2012 [R-07.2015]

[Editor Note: See MPEP § 602.01(b) for information pertaining to an inventor's oath or declaration in applications filed before September 16, 2012.]

35 U.S.C. 115  Inventor’s oath or declaration.

  • (a) NAMING THE INVENTOR; INVENTOR’S OATH OR DECLARATION.—An application for patent that is filed under section 111(a) or commences the national stage under section 371 shall include, or be amended to include, the name of the inventor for any invention claimed in the application. Except as otherwise provided in this section, each individual who is the inventor or a joint inventor of a claimed invention in an application for patent shall execute an oath or declaration in connection with the application.
  • (b) REQUIRED STATEMENTS.—An oath or declaration under subsection (a) shall contain statements that—
    • (1) the application was made or was authorized to be made by the affiant or declarant; and
    • (2) such individual believes himself or herself to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application.
  • (c) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—The Director may specify additional information relating to the inventor and the invention that is required to be included in an oath or declaration under subsection (a).
  • (d) SUBSTITUTE STATEMENT.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.—In lieu of executing an oath or declaration under subsection (a), the applicant for patent may provide a substitute statement under the circumstances described in paragraph (2) and such additional circumstances that the Director may specify by regulation.
    • (2) PERMITTED CIRCUMSTANCES.—A substitute statement under paragraph (1) is permitted with respect to any individual who—
      • (A) is unable to file the oath or declaration under subsection (a) because the individual—
        • (i) is deceased;
        • (ii) is under legal incapacity; or
        • (iii) cannot be found or reached after diligent effort; or
      • (B) is under an obligation to assign the invention but has refused to make the oath or declaration required under subsection (a).
    • (3) CONTENTS.—A substitute statement under this subsection shall—
      • (A) identify the individual with respect to whom the statement applies;
      • (B) set forth the circumstances representing the permitted basis for the filing of the substitute statement in lieu of the oath or declaration under subsection (a); and
      • (C) contain any additional information, including any showing, required by the Director.
  • (e) MAKING REQUIRED STATEMENTS IN ASSIGNMENT OF RECORD.—An individual who is under an obligation of assignment of an application for patent may include the required statements under subsections (b) and (c) in the assignment executed by the individual, in lieu of filing such statements separately.
  • (f) TIME FOR FILING.—The applicant for patent shall provide each required oath or declaration under subsection (a), substitute statement under subsection (d), or recorded assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) no later than the date on which the issue fee is paid.
  • (g) EARLIER-FILED APPLICATION CONTAINING REQUIRED STATEMENTS OR SUBSTITUTE STATEMENT.—
    • (1) EXCEPTION.—The requirements under this section shall not apply to an individual with respect to an application for patent in which the individual is named as the inventor or a joint inventor and that claims the benefit under section 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) of the filing of an earlier-filed application, if—
      • (A) an oath or declaration meeting the requirements of subsection (a) was executed by the individual and was filed in connection with the earlier-filed application;
      • (B) a substitute statement meeting the requirements of subsection (d) was filed in connection with the earlier filed application with respect to the individual; or
      • (C) an assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) was executed with respect to the earlier-filed application by the individual and was recorded in connection with the earlier-filed application.
    • (2) COPIES OF OATHS, DECLARATIONS, STATEMENTS, OR ASSIGNMENTS.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Director may require that a copy of the executed oath or declaration, the substitute statement, or the assignment filed in connection with the earlier-filed application be included in the later-filed application.
  • (h) SUPPLEMENTAL AND CORRECTED STATEMENTS; FILING ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS.—
    • (1) IN GENERAL.—Any person making a statement required under this section may withdraw, replace, or otherwise correct the statement at any time. If a change is made in the naming of the inventor requiring the filing of 1 or more additional statements under this section, the Director shall establish regulations under which such additional statements may be filed.
    • (2) SUPPLEMENTAL STATEMENTS NOT REQUIRED.—If an individual has executed an oath or declaration meeting the requirements of subsection (a) or an assignment meeting the requirements of subsection (e) with respect to an application for patent, the Director may not thereafter require that individual to make any additional oath, declaration, or other statement equivalent to those required by this section in connection with the application for patent or any patent issuing thereon.
    • (3) SAVINGS CLAUSE.—A patent shall not be invalid or unenforceable based upon the failure to comply with a requirement under this section if the failure is remedied as provided under paragraph (1).
  • (i) ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PENALTIES.—Any declaration or statement filed pursuant to this section shall contain an acknowledgment that any willful false statement made in such declaration or statement is punishable under section 1001 of title 18 by fine or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both.

37 C.F.R. 1.63  Inventor's oath or declaration.

  • (a) The inventor, or each individual who is a joint inventor of a claimed invention, in an application for patent must execute an oath or declaration directed to the application, except as provided for in § 1.64. An oath or declaration under this section must:
    • (1) Identify the inventor or joint inventor executing the oath or declaration by his or her legal name;
    • (2) Identify the application to which it is directed;
    • (3) Include a statement that the person executing the oath or declaration believes the named inventor or joint inventor to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application for which the oath or declaration is being submitted; and
    • (4) State that the application was made or was authorized to be made by the person executing the oath or declaration.
  • (b) Unless the following information is supplied in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76, the oath or declaration must also identify:
    • (1) Each inventor by his or her legal name; and
    • (2) A mailing address where the inventor customarily receives mail, and residence, if an inventor lives at a location which is different from where the inventor customarily receives mail, for each inventor.
  • (c) A person may not execute an oath or declaration for an application unless that person has reviewed and understands the contents of the application, including the claims, and is aware of the duty to disclose to the Office all information known to the person to be material to patentability as defined in § 1.56. There is no minimum age for a person to be qualified to execute an oath or declaration, but the person must be competent to execute, i.e., understand, the document that the person is executing.
  • (d)
    • (1) A newly executed oath or declaration under § 1.63, or substitute statement under § 1.64, is not required under §§ 1.51(b)(2) and 1.53(f), or under §§ 1.497 and 1.1021(d), for an inventor in a continuing application that claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) in compliance with § 1.78 of an earlier-filed application, provided that an oath or declaration in compliance with this section, or substitute statement under § 1.64, was executed by or with respect to such inventor and was filed in the earlier-filed application, and a copy of such oath, declaration, or substitute statement showing the signature or an indication thereon that it was executed, is submitted in the continuing application.
    • (2) The inventorship of a continuing application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) is the inventor or joint inventors specified in the application data sheet filed before or concurrently with the copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the earlier-filed application. If an application data sheet is not filed before or concurrently with the copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the earlier-filed application, the inventorship is the inventorship set forth in the copy of the inventor's oath or declaration from the earlier-filed application, unless it is accompanied by a statement signed pursuant to § 1.33(b) stating the name of each inventor in the continuing application.
    • (3) Any new joint inventor named in the continuing application must provide an oath or declaration in compliance with this section, except as provided for in § 1.64.
  • (e)
    • (1) An assignment may also serve as an oath or declaration required by this section if the assignment as executed:
      • (i) Includes the information and statements required under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section; and
      • (ii) A copy of the assignment is recorded as provided for in part 3 of this chapter.
    • (2) Any reference to an oath or declaration under this section includes an assignment as provided for in this paragraph.
  • (f) With respect to an application naming only one inventor, any reference to the inventor's oath or declaration in this chapter includes a substitute statement executed under § 1.64. With respect to an application naming more than one inventor, any reference to the inventor's oath or declaration in this chapter means the oaths, declarations, or substitute statements that have been collectively executed by or with respect to all of the joint inventors, unless otherwise clear from the context.
  • (g) An oath or declaration under this section, including the statement provided for in paragraph (e) of this section, must be executed (i.e., signed) in accordance either with § 1.66 or with an acknowledgment that any willful false statement made in such declaration or statement is punishable under 18 U.S.C. 1001 by fine or imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, or both.
  • (h) An oath or declaration filed at any time pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 115(h)(1) will be placed in the file record of the application or patent, but may not necessarily be reviewed by the Office. Any request for correction of the named inventorship must comply with § 1.48 in an application and § 1.324 in a patent.

I.    IDENTITY OF INVENTOR(S), APPLICATION, AND REQUIRED STATEMENTS

The inventor, or each individual who is a joint inventor of a claimed invention, in an application for patent (other than a provisional application) must execute an oath or declaration directed to the application, except as provided for in 37 CFR 1.64. See 37 CFR 1.63(a) and 35 U.S.C. 115. An oath or declaration must: (1) identify the inventor or joint inventor executing the oath or declaration by his or her legal name; (2) identify the application to which it is directed; (3) include a statement the person executing the oath or declaration believes the named inventor or joint inventors to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application for which the oath or declaration is being submitted; and (4) state that the application was made or authorized to be made by the person executing the oath or declaration. Items (3) and (4) above are requirements of 35 U.S.C. 115(a) and (b).

A.    INVENTOR NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS

The requirements that an oath or declaration must identify the inventor or joint inventor executing the oath or declaration by his or her legal name and identify the application to which it is directed are necessary for the Office to ensure compliance with the requirement of 35 U.S.C. 115(a). Specifically, 35 U.S.C. 115(a) requires that each individual who is the inventor or a joint inventor of a claimed invention in an application for patent has executed an oath or declaration in connection with the application (except as provided for in 35 U.S.C. 115 ). See MPEP § 602.08(b) for additional information pertaining to inventor names.

Unless such information is supplied in an application data sheet in accordance with 37 CFR 1.76, the oath or declaration must also identify: (1) each inventor by his or her legal name; (2) a mailing address where the inventor or each joint inventor customarily receives mail; and (3) a residence for each inventor or joint inventor who lives at a location which is different from where the inventor or joint inventor customarily receives mail. See 37 CFR 1.63(b).

For nonprovisional international design applications, 37 CFR 1.1021(d)(3) provides that the requirement in 37 CFR 1.63(b) to identify each inventor by his or her legal name, mailing address, and residence, if an inventor lives at a location which is different from the mailing address, will be considered satisfied by the presentation of such information in the international design application prior to international registration.

See also MPEP § 602.08(a) for additional details regarding inventor bibliographic information.

If applicant files an application data sheet (ADS) that identifies each inventor by his or her legal name, in accordance with 37 CFR 1.76, the applicant is not required to name each inventor in a single oath or declaration. This permits each joint inventor to execute an oath or declaration stating only that the joint inventor executing the oath or declaration is an original joint inventor of the claimed invention in the application for which the oath or declaration is being submitted. To be in accordance with 37 CFR 1.76, the application data sheet must be signed in compliance with 37 CFR 1.33(b). An unsigned application data sheet will be treated only as a transmittal letter.

B.    IDENTIFICATION OF APPLICATION

See MPEP § 602.08(c) for the minimum information necessary to identify the application to which an oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63 is directed.

C.    REQUIRED STATEMENTS

An oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63 in an application filed on or after September 16, 2012 is no longer required to contain the "reviewed and understands" clause and "duty to disclose" clause of pre-AIA 37 CFR 1.63(b)(2) and (b)(3). However, 37 CFR 1.63 still requires that a person executing an oath or declaration review and understand the contents of the application, and be aware of the duty to disclose under 37 CFR 1.56. See 37 CFR 1.63(c). There is no minimum age for a person to be qualified to execute an oath or declaration, but the person must be competent to execute (i.e., understand) the document that the person is executing.

II.    ASSIGNMENT-STATEMENT AS OATH OR DECLARATION

37 CFR 1.63(e) implements the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 115(e). An assignment may also serve as an oath or declaration required by 37 CFR 1.63 if the assignment: (1) includes the information and statements required under 37 CFR 1.63(a) and (b); and (2) a copy of the assignment is recorded as provided for in 37 CFR part 3. The assignment, including the information and statements required under 37 CFR 1.63(a) and (b), must be executed by the individual who is under the obligation of assignment. Any reference to an oath or declaration includes an assignment as provided for in 37 CFR 1.63(e).

Applicants should be mindful that 37 CFR 3.31 requires a conspicuous indication, such as by use of a check-box on the assignment cover sheet, to alert the Office that an assignment submitted with an application is being submitted for a dual purpose: recording in the assignment database, such as to support a power of attorney, and for use in the application as the inventor’s oath or declaration. Assignments cannot be recorded unless an application number is provided against which the assignment is to be recorded. When filing an application on paper, if an assignment is submitted for recording along with the application, the assignment is separated from the paper application after the application is assigned an application number and is forwarded to the Assignment Recordation Branch for recording in its database. The assignment does not become part of the application file. If the applicant indicates that an assignment-statement is also an oath or declaration, the Office will scan the assignment into the Image File Wrapper (IFW) file for the application before forwarding it to the Assignment Recordation Branch.

For EFS-Web filing of application papers, EFS-Web does not accept assignments for recording purposes when filing an application. Assignments submitted via EFS-Web will be made of record in the application, and will not be forwarded to the Assignment Recordation Branch for recordation by the Office. Recording of assignments may only be done electronically in EPAS (Electronic Patent Assignment System). If an applicant files the assignment-statement for recording via EPAS and utilizes the check-box, the Office will place a copy of the assignment-statement in the application file.

III.    EXECUTION OF INVENTOR’S OATH OR DECLARATION

With respect to an application naming more than one inventor, any reference to the inventor’s oath or declaration in 37 CFR chapter I means the oaths, declarations, or substitute statements that have been collectively executed by or with respect to all of the joint inventors, unless it is otherwise clear from the context. Thus, any requirement in 37 CFR chapter I for the inventor’s oath or declaration with respect to an application naming more than one inventor is met if an oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63, an assignment-statement under 37 CFR 1.63(e), or a substitute statement under 37 CFR 1.64 executed by or with respect to each joint inventor is filed. See 37 CFR 1.63(f).

An oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63, including the assignment-statement provided for in 37 CFR 1.63(e), must be executed (i.e., signed) in accordance either with 37 CFR 1.66, or with an acknowledgement that any willful false statement made in such declaration or statement is punishable under 18 U.S.C. 1001 by fine or imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, or both. See 37 CFR 1.63(g) and 35 U.S.C. 115(i). The inventor’s oath or declaration must be executed (i.e., signed) by the inventor or the joint inventors, unless the inventor’s oath or declaration is a substitute statement under 37 CFR 1.64, which must be signed by the applicant, or an assignment-statement under 37 CFR 1.63(e), which must be signed by the inventor who is under the obligation of assignment of the patent application.

See MPEP § 602.08(b) for additional information regarding the execution of the inventor’s oath or declaration.

See 35 U.S.C. 115(g), 37 CFR 1.63(d) and MPEP § 602.05(a) regarding the use of copies of inventor’s oaths or declarations in continuing applications.

35 U.S.C. 115(h)(1) provides that any person making a statement under this section may at any time "withdraw, replace, or otherwise correct the statement at any time." 37 CFR 1.63(h) provides that an oath or declaration filed at any time pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 115(h)(1) will be placed in the file record of the application or patent, but may not necessarily be reviewed by the Office.

IV.    FORMS

Forms PTO/AIA/01 through PTO/AIA/09 may be used when submitting the inventor’s oath or declaration in an application filed on or after September 16, 2012. These forms and an "AIA Inventor's Oath or Declaration Quick Reference Guide" are available on the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov/patent/forms/forms-patent- applications-filed-or-after-september-16-2012.