MPEP 715.01
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This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

Previous: §715 | Next: §715.01(a)

715.01    37 CFR 1.131(a) Affidavits Versus 37 CFR 1.132 Affidavits [R-08.2017]

[Editor Note: This MPEP section is not applicable to applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA unless being relied upon to overcome a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(g). See 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) and MPEP § 2159. For a discussion of 37 CFR 1.130, affidavits or declarations of attribution or prior public disclosure in applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA, see MPEP § 717. For a discussion of affidavits or declarations under 37 CFR 1.131(c), see MPEP § 718.]

The purpose of a 37 CFR 1.131(a) affidavit or declaration is to overcome a prior art rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 or 103 by proving invention of the claimed subject matter by the inventor or at least one joint inventor prior to the effective date of the reference or activity relied upon in the rejection.

In some situations, an applicant may, alternatively, be able to overcome prior art rejections relying on references or activities which are available as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) or references which are available as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) by proving that the subject matter relied upon in the reference or activity was the inventor’s or at least one joint inventor’s own invention.

Similarly, where the reference relied upon in a 35 U.S.C. 103 rejection qualifies as prior art only under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) or (g), or, in an application filed on or after November 29, 1999, under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), applicant may be able to overcome this rejection by proving that the subject matter relied upon and the claimed invention were commonly owned or subject to common assignment at the time the later invention was made. See MPEP § 706.02(l)(1) through § 706.02(l)(3).