MPEP 715.07(c)
Acts Relied Upon Must Have Been Carried Out in This Country or a NAFTA or WTO Member Country

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

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715.07(c)    Acts Relied Upon Must Have Been Carried Out in This Country or a NAFTA or WTO Member Country [R-07.2015]

[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.]

Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 104 Invention Made Abroad.

  • (a) IN GENERAL.—
    • (1) PROCEEDINGS.—In proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office, in the courts, and before any other competent authority, an applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in a foreign country other than a NAFTA country or a WTO member country, except as provided in sections 119 and365.
    • (2) RIGHTS.—If an invention was made by a person, civil or military—
      • (A) while domiciled in the United States, and serving in any other country in connection with operations by or on behalf of the United States,
      • (B) while domiciled in a NAFTA country and serving in another country in connection with operations by or on behalf of that NAFTA country, or
      • (C) while domiciled in a WTO member country and serving in another country in connection with operations by or on behalf of that WTO member country, that person shall be entitled to the same rights of priority in the United States with respect to such invention as if such invention had been made in the United States, that NAFTA country, or that WTO member country, as the case may be.
    • (3) USE OF INFORMATION.—To the extent that any information in a NAFTA country or a WTO member country concerning knowledge, use, or other activity relevant to proving or disproving a date of invention has not been made available for use in a proceeding in the Patent and Trademark Office, a court, or any other competent authority to the same extent as such information could be made available in the United States, the Director, court, or such other authority shall draw appropriate inferences, or take other action permitted by statute, rule, or regulation, in favor of the party that requested the information in the proceeding.
  • (b) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section—
    • (1) The term "NAFTA country" has the meaning given that term in section 2(4) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act; and
    • (2) The term "WTO member country" has the meaning given that term in section 2(10) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

The 37 CFR 1.131(a) affidavit or declaration must contain an allegation that the acts relied upon to establish the date prior to the reference or activity were carried out in this country or in a NAFTA country or WTO member country. See pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 104.

Under 37 CFR 1.131(a), which provides for the establishment of a date of completion of the invention in a NAFTA or WTO member country, as well as in the United States, the applicant or patent owner can establish a date of completion in a NAFTA member country on or after December 8, 1993, the effective date of section 331 of Public Law 103-182, the North American Free Trade Agreement Act, and can establish a date of completion in a WTO member country other than a NAFTA member country on or after January 1, 1996, the effective date of section 531 of Public Law 103-465, the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Acts occurring prior to the effective dates of NAFTA or URAA may be relied upon to show completion of the invention; however, a date of completion of the invention may not be established under 37 CFR 1.131(a) before December 8, 1993 in a NAFTA country or before January 1, 1996 in a WTO country other than a NAFTA country.