MPEP 804.03
Commonly Owned Inventions of Different Inventive Entities; Non-Commonly Owned Inventions Subject to a Joint Research Agreement

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

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804.03    Commonly Owned Inventions of Different Inventive Entities; Non-Commonly Owned Inventions Subject to a Joint Research Agreement [R-08.2017]

35 U.S.C. 102  Conditions for patentability; novelty.

[Editor Note: Applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See pre AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 for the law otherwise applicable.]

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  • (b) Exceptions.-
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    • (2) DISCLOSURES APPEARING IN APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS.—A disclosure shall not be prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2) if—
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      • (C) the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
  • (c) COMMON OWNERSHIP UNDER JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENTS.—Subject matter disclosed and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person in applying the provisions of subsection (b)(2)(C) if—
    • (1) the subject matter disclosed was developed and the claimed invention was made by, or on behalf of, 1 or more parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the effective filing date of the claimed invention;
    • (2) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
    • (3) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.

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Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103 Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.

[Editor Note: Not applicable to any patent application subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 103 for the law otherwise applicable.]

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  • (c)
    • (1) Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (g) of section 102 of this title, shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the claimed invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
    • (2) For purposes of this subsection, subject matter developed by another person and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person if —
      • (A) the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;
      • (B) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
      • (C) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.
    • (3) For purposes of paragraph (2), the term "joint research agreement" means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.

37 C.F.R. 1.78 Claiming benefit of earlier filing date and cross-references to other applications.

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  • (g) Applications or patents under reexamination naming different inventors and containing patentably indistinct claims. If an application or a patent under reexamination and at least one other application naming different inventors are owned by the same person and contain patentably indistinct claims, and there is no statement of record indicating that the claimed inventions were commonly owned or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person on the effective filing date (as defined in § 1.109 ), or on the date of the invention, as applicable, of the later claimed invention, the Office may require the applicant or assignee to state whether the claimed inventions were commonly owned or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person on such date, and if not, indicate which named inventor is the prior inventor, as applicable. Even if the claimed inventions were commonly owned, or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person on the effective filing date (as defined in § 1.109 ), or on the date of the invention, as applicable, of the later claimed invention, the patentably indistinct claims may be rejected under the doctrine of double patenting in view of such commonly owned or assigned applications or patents under reexamination.

37 C.F.R. 1.131  Affidavit or declaration of prior invention or to disqualify commonly owned patent or published application as prior art.

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  • (c) When any claim of an application or a patent under reexamination is rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103 as in effect on March 15, 2013, on a U.S. patent or U.S. patent application publication which is not prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(b) as in effect on March 15, 2013, and the inventions defined by the claims in the application or patent under reexamination and by the claims in the patent or published application are not identical but are not patentably distinct, and the inventions are owned by the same party, the applicant or owner of the patent under reexamination may disqualify the patent or patent application publication as prior art. The patent or patent application publication can be disqualified as prior art by submission of:
    • (1) A terminal disclaimer in accordance with § 1.321(c); and
    • (2) An oath or declaration stating that the application or patent under reexamination and patent or published application are currently owned by the same party, and that the inventor named in the application or patent under reexamination is the prior inventor under 35 U.S.C. 104 as in effect on March 15, 2013.

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I.    DOUBLE PATENTING

Claims in commonly owned applications of different inventive entities may be rejected on the ground of double patenting. This is in accordance with existing case law and prevents an organization from obtaining two or more patents with different expiration dates covering nearly identical subject matter. See In re Zickendraht, 319 F.2d 225, 138 USPQ 22 (CCPA 1963) (the doctrine is well established that claims in different applications need be more than merely different in form or content and that patentable distinction must exist to entitle applicants to a second patent); see also In re Christensen, 330 F.2d 652, 141 USPQ 295 (CCPA 1964).

Claims may also be rejected on the grounds of nonstatutory double patenting in certain non-commonly owned applications that claim inventions resulting from activities undertaken within the scope of a joint research agreement as defined in 35 U.S.C. 102(c) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2). This prevents the parties to the joint research agreement from obtaining two or more patents with different expiration dates covering nearly identical subject matter.

Nonstatutory double patenting rejections can be overcome in certain circumstances by disclaiming, pursuant to the provisions of 37 CFR 1.321(c), the terminal portion of the term of the later patent and including in the disclaimer a provision that the patent shall be enforceable only for and during the period the patent is commonly owned with the application or patent which formed the basis for the rejection, thereby eliminating the problem of extending patent life. Nonstatutory double patenting rejections can also be overcome in cases subject to a joint research agreement, under certain circumstances, by disclaiming the terminal portion of the term of the later patent and including in the disclaimer the provisions of 37 CFR 1.321(d).

See MPEP § 717.02 et seq. for information pertaining to establishment of common ownership and the existence of a joint research agreement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 102(c), as well as examination practice relating to 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C). See MPEP § 706.02(l) - § 706.02(l)(3) for information pertaining to establishment of common ownership and the existence of a joint research agreement pursuant to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c), as well as examination practice relating to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c).

II.    IDENTIFYING COMMONLY OWNED AND NON-COMMONLY OWNED INVENTIONS SUBJECT TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

A.    Common Ownership by the Same Person(s) or Organization(s)

Applications or patents are "commonly owned" pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(1) if they were wholly or entirely owned by the same person(s), or organization(s)/business entity(ies), at the time the claimed invention was filed or made, respectively. If the person(s) or organization(s) owned less than 100 percent of the subject matter which would otherwise be prior art to the claimed invention, or less than 100 percent of the claimed invention, then common ownership would not exist. Common ownership requires that the person(s) or organization(s)/business entity(ies) own 100 percent of the subject matter and 100 percent of the claimed invention. See MPEP § 717.02(a), subsection I, and MPEP § 706.02(l)(2) for a detailed definition of common ownership. 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) provides that disclosures shall not be prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) if the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person. If the prior art exception under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) is properly invoked, the commonly owned or joint research agreement reference is not available as prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) for both anticipation and obviousness rejections. See MPEP § 717.02(a) for more information on invoking this prior art exception and MPEP § 717.02(b) for more information on evaluating when the exception applies and is properly invoked.

Under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(1), two inventions of different inventive entities come within the common ownership provisions when:

  • (A) the later invention is not anticipated by the earlier invention under 35 U.S.C. 102;
  • (B) the earlier invention qualifies as prior art for purposes of obviousness under 35 U.S.C. 103 against the later invention only under subsections (f) or (g) of 35 U.S.C. 102, or under 35 U.S.C. 102(e) for applications pending on or after December 10, 2004, for reexamination proceedings in which the patent under reexamination was granted on or after December 10, 2004, and for reexamination proceedings in which the patent under reexamination was filed on or after November 29, 1999; and
  • (C) the inventions were, at the time the later invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.

B.    Non-Commonly Owned Inventions Subject to a Joint Research Agreement

The Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement Act of 2004 (CREATE Act) (Public Law 108-453; 118 Stat. 3596 (2004)), which amended pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c), was enacted on December 10, 2004. The CREATE Act permits an applicant or patentee, who is a party to a joint research agreement, to disqualify prior art that is applied in a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) and that is otherwise available as prior art only under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), (f) or (g). Congress recognized that this amendment to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) would result in situations in which there would be double patenting between patents or applications not owned by the same party. See H.R. Rep. No. 108-425, at 5-6 (2003).

Pursuant to the CREATE Act, non-commonly owned applications or patents that are subject to a joint research agreement may be treated as if they are "commonly owned," i.e., owned or subject to assignment by the same person, for the purposes of determining obviousness if certain conditions are met. See pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2). The term "joint research agreement" means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention. See pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(3). See also MPEP § 706.02(l)(2).

Two inventions come within the provisions of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2), for pre-AIA applications pending on or after December 10, 2004, and for reexamination proceedings in which the patent under reexamination issued after December 10, 2004 and is subject to pre-AIA law, when:

  • (A) the later invention is not anticipated by the earlier invention under 35 U.S.C. 102;
  • (B) the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;
  • (C) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
  • (D) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.

The current joint research agreement provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(c) generally track those of the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement Act of 2004 (CREATE Act). See MPEP § 706.02(l)(1). The major differences between 35 U.S.C. 102(c) and the CREATE Act are the following:

  • A. The new provision (35 U.S.C. 102(c) ) is keyed to the effective filing date of the claimed invention, while the CREATE Act (pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) ) focused on the date that the claimed invention was made; and
  • B. The CREATE Act provisions (pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) ) only applied to obviousness rejections and not to anticipation rejections.

C.    Timing of Double Patenting Rejections

The examiner should make both a double patenting rejection based on common ownership and a rejection based on prior art when the facts support both rejections. Until applicant has established that a reference is disqualified as prior art under the joint research agreement defined in 35 U.S.C. 102(c) and pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2) and (3), the examiner should NOT apply a double patenting rejection based on a joint research agreement. See MPEP §§ 706.07(a), 717.02(c), and 804, subsection VI., for information regarding when an Office action that includes a new subsequent double patenting rejection based upon a reference subject to a joint research agreement defined in 35 U.S.C. 102(c) and pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2) and (3) may be made final.

III.    DETERMINING INVENTION PRIORITY

A determination of priority is not required when two inventions are commonly owned as set forth in 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(1).

Pursuant to 37 CFR 1.78(g), where an application or a patent under reexamination and at least one other application by different inventive entities are owned by the same party and contain conflicting claims, the examiner may require the assignee to state whether the claimed inventions come within the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) (i.e., indicate whether common ownership or an obligation of assignment to the same person existed on the effective filing date) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) (i.e., indicate whether common ownership or an obligation of assignment to the same person existed at the time the later invention was made). For example, if the assignee states that the provisions of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) do not apply to the conflicting claimed inventions, the assignee is required to indicate which named inventor is the prior inventor. Form paragraphs 8.27.aia, 8.27.fti, 8.28.aia, 8.28.fti, 8.28.01.aia and 8.28.01.fti may be used to require the applicant to identify the prior inventor under 37 CFR 1.78(g) or to take certain actions. In order to avoid abandonment, the assignee must comply with the requirements under 37 CFR 1.78(g) unless the conflicting claims are eliminated in all but one application. If, however, the two inventions come within the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c), it is not necessary to determine priority of invention since the earlier invention is disqualified as prior art against the later invention and since double patenting rejections can be used to ensure that the patent terms expire together. Accordingly, a response to a requirement under 37 CFR 1.78(g) which states that the inventions of different inventive entities come within the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) is complete.

Before making a requirement to identify the prior inventor in an application subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) or (g), and threatening to hold the application abandoned if the statement is not made by the assignee, the examiner must make sure that claims in the application under examination or patent under reexamination and the claims in the other application(s) are conflicting as defined in MPEP § 804. See In re Rekers, 203 USPQ 1034 (Comm’r Pat. 1979).

In some situations the prosecution file histories may reflect which invention is the prior invention, e.g., by reciting that one invention is an improvement of the other invention. See Margolis v. Banner, 599 F.2d 435, 202 USPQ 365 (CCPA 1979) (Court refused to uphold a holding of abandonment for failure to name the prior inventor since the record showed what was invented by the different inventive entities and who was the prior inventor.).

An application in which a requirement to name the prior inventor has been made will not be held abandoned where a timely response indicates that the other application is abandoned or will be permitted to become abandoned and will not be filed as a continuing application. Such a response will be considered sufficient since it renders the requirement to identify the prior inventor moot because the existence of conflicting claims is eliminated. Also, any conflict between two or more pending applications can be avoided by abandoning the applications and filing a continuation-in-part application merging the conflicting inventions into a single application.

IV.    REJECTIONS UNDER 35 U.S.C. 102 AND 103 AND DOUBLE PATENTING

Form paragraphs 8.27.aia, 8.27.fti, 8.28.aia, 8.28.fti, 8.28.01.aia, and 8.28.01.fti may be used to require the applicant to resolve issues that may arise in applications that have different inventors but a common assignee and claim the same or patentably indistinct inventions.

¶ 8.27.aia    Different Inventors, Common Assignee, Same Invention, Examined under First Inventor To File (FITF) Provisions of the AIA

Claim [1] directed to the same invention as that of claim [2] of commonly assigned [3]. Under 35 U.S.C. 101, more than one patent may not be issued on the same invention.

The USPTO may not institute a derivation proceeding in the absence of a timely filed petition. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office normally will not institute a derivation proceeding between applications or a patent and an application having common ownership (see 37 CFR 42.411 ). The applicant should amend or cancel claims such that the reference and the instant application no longer contain claims directed to the same invention.

Examiner Note:

1. Form paragraph 7.03.aia must be included in any Office action that contains this paragraph.

2. In bracket 3, insert the U.S. patent number or the copending application number.

3. The claims listed in brackets 1 and 2 must be for the same invention. If one invention would have been obvious in view of the other, do not use this form paragraph; see form paragraph 8.28.aia.

4. A provisional or actual statutory double patenting rejection should also be made using form paragraph 8.31 or 8.32.

5. If the commonly assigned application or patent has an earlier effective filing date in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 100(i), a rejection under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) may also be made using form paragraph 7.15.01.aia or 7.15.02.aia.

¶ 8.27.fti    Different Inventors, Common Assignee, Same Invention, Examined Under Pre-AIA (First to Invent) Provisions

Claim [1] directed to the same invention as that of claim [2] of commonly assigned [3]. The issue of priority under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(g) and possibly pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) of this single invention must be resolved.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office normally will not institute an interference between applications or a patent and an application having common ownership (see MPEP Chapter 2300). Either the applicant must amend or cancel claims such that the reference and the instant application no longer contain claims directed to the same invention, or the assignee must state which entity is the prior inventor of the commonly claimed subject matter. A terminal disclaimer has no effect in this situation since the basis for refusing more than one patent is priority of invention under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) or (g) and not an extension of monopoly.

Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a holding of abandonment of this application.

Examiner Note:

1. Form paragraph 7.03.fti must be included in any Office action that contains this paragraph.

2. In bracket 3, insert the U.S. patent number or the copending application number.

3. The claims listed in brackets 1 and 2 must be for the same invention. If one invention would have been obvious in view of the other, do not use this form paragraph; see form paragraph 8.28.fti.

4. A provisional or actual statutory double patenting rejection should also be made using form paragraph 8.31 or 8.32.

5. If the commonly assigned application or patent has an earlier U.S. filing date, a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) may also be made using form paragraph 7.15.01.fti or 7.15.02.fti.

¶ 8.28.aia    Different Inventors, Common Assignee, Inventions Not Patentably Distinct, No Evidence of Common Ownership as of the Effective Filing Date of the Claimed Invention, Examined Under First Inventor to File (FITF) Provisions of the AIA

Claim [1] directed to an invention not patentably distinct from claim [2] of commonly assigned [3]. Specifically, [4].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should be used when the application being examined is commonly assigned with an application or patent that includes claims patentably indistinct from those in the present application, but it has not been established that they were commonly owned or deemed to have been commonly owned as of the effective filing date under 35 U.S.C. 100(i) of the claimed invention. See 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) and 35 U.S.C. 102(c).

2. A rejection under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) /103 using form paragraph 7.21.aia, 7.21.01.aia or 7.21.02.aia also should be made, as appropriate.

3. In bracket 3, insert the number of the patent or application that includes claims patentably indistinct from those in the present application.

4. A nonstatutory double patenting rejection should also be included in the action using one of form paragraphs 8.34 to 8.37.

5. In bracket 4, explain why the claims in the present application and the reference patent or application are patentably indistinct.

6. Form paragraph 8.28.01.aia MUST follow this paragraph.

¶ 8.28.fti    Different Inventors, Common Assignee, Inventions Not Patentably Distinct, No Evidence of Common Ownership at Time of Invention, Examined Under Pre-AIA (First To Invent) Provisions

Claim [1] directed to an invention not patentably distinct from claim [2] of commonly assigned [3]. Specifically, [4].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should be used when the application being examined is commonly assigned with an application or patent that includes claims patentably indistinct from those in the present application, but there is no indication that they were commonly assigned at the time the invention was made.

2. A rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) /103(a) using form paragraph 7.21.fti, 7.21.01.fti or 7.21.02.fti also should be made, as appropriate. Rejections under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) /103(a) should not be made or maintained if the patent is disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as prior art in a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) rejection.

3. In bracket 3, insert the number of the reference patent or application.

4. A nonstatutory double patenting rejection should also be included in the action using one of form paragraphs 8.34 to 8.37.

5. In bracket 4, explain why the claims in the present application and the reference patent or application are patentably indistinct.

6. Form paragraph 8.28.01.fti MUST follow this paragraph.

¶ 8.28.01.aia    Advisory Information Relating to Form Paragraph 8.28.aia

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may not institute a derivation proceeding in the absence of a timely filed petition. The USPTO normally will not institute a derivation proceeding between applications or a patent and an application having common ownership (see 37 CFR 42.411 ). Commonly assigned [1], discussed above, would be prior art to the noted claims under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) if the patentably indistinct inventions were not commonly owned or deemed to be commonly owned as of the effective filing date under 35 U.S.C. 100(i) of the claimed invention.

In order for the examiner to resolve this issue the applicant or patent owner can provide a statement under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) and 37 CFR 1.104(c)(4)(i) to the effect that the subject matter and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person. Alternatively, the applicant or patent owner can provide a statement under 35 U.S.C. 102(c) and 37 CFR 1.104(c)(4)(ii) to the effect that the subject matter was developed and the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of one or more parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the effective filing date of the claimed invention, and the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; the application must also be amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.

A showing that the inventions were commonly owned or deemed to be commonly owned as of the effective filing date under 35 U.S.C. 100(i) of the claimed invention will preclude a rejection under 35 U.S.C. 102 or 103 based upon the commonly assigned case. Alternatively, applicant may take action to amend or cancel claims such that the applications, or the patent and the application, no longer contain claims directed to patentably indistinct inventions.

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph should follow form paragraph 8.28.aia and should only be used ONCE in an Office action.

¶ 8.28.01.fti    Advisory Information Relating to Form Paragraph 8.28.fti

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office normally will not institute an interference between applications or a patent and an application of common ownership (see MPEP Chapter 2300). Commonly assigned [1], discussed above, may form the basis for a rejection of the noted claims under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 or 103(a) if the commonly assigned case qualifies as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), (f) or (g) and the patentably indistinct inventions were not commonly owned at the time the claimed invention in this application was made. In order for the examiner to resolve this issue the assignee can, under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) and 37 CFR 1.78(g), either show that the patentably indistinct inventions were commonly owned at the time the claimed invention in this application was made, or name the prior inventor of the subject matter at issue.

A showing that the inventions were commonly owned at the time the claimed invention in this application was made will preclude a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) based upon the commonly assigned application that qualifies as a reference under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), (f) or (g). Alternatively, applicant may take action to amend or cancel claims such that the applications, or the patent and the application, no longer contain claims directed to patentably indistinct inventions.

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph should follow form paragraph 8.28.fti and should only be used ONCE in an Office action.

If the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(1) apply to the commonly owned conflicting inventions of different inventive entities or if the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(c) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2) apply to non-commonly owned inventions subject to a joint research agreement and thereby obviate the rejection(s), double patenting rejection(s) should be made (or maintained) as appropriate. If, however, it is determined that the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) do NOT apply because the inventions were not commonly owned or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person at the time the later invention was filed or made, or because the claimed invention did NOT result from activities undertaken within the scope of a joint research agreement as required by 35 U.S.C. 102(c) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c)(2) and (3), and there is evidence of record to indicate that a patent or application is prior art against the application being examined, the examiner should make (A) any appropriate double patenting rejection(s), and (B) the appropriate prior art rejection(s) under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 35 U.S.C. 103 in the application being examined. See the charts in MPEP § 804. Rejections under 35 U.S.C. 102 or 35 U.S.C. 103 cannot be obviated solely by filing a terminal disclaimer.

¶ 7.15.aia    Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1)/102(a)(2)

Claim(s) [1] is/are rejected under 35 U.S.C. 102 [2] as being [3] by [4].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. In bracket 1, insert the claim numbers which are under rejection.

3. In bracket 2, insert either "(a)(1)" or "(a)(2)" or both. If paragraph (a)(2) of 35 U.S.C. 102 is applicable, use form paragraph 7.15.01.aia, 7.15.02.aia or 7.15.03.aia where applicable.

4. In bracket 3, insert either --clearly anticipated-- or --anticipated-- with an explanation at the end of the paragraph.

5. In bracket 4, insert the prior art relied upon.

6. This rejection must be preceded either by form paragraph 7.07.aia and form paragraphs 7.08.aia, and 7.12.aia as appropriate, or by form paragraph 7.103.

7. For applications claiming priority to, or the benefit of, an application filed before March 16, 2013, this form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.06.

¶ 7.15.fti    Rejection, Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a), (b) Patent or Publication, and (g)

Claim(s) [1] is/are rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 [2] as being [3] by [4].

Examiner Note:

1. In bracket 2, insert the appropriate paragraph letter or letters of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 in parentheses. If paragraph (e) of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 is applicable, use form paragraph 7.15.01.fti, 7.15.02.fti or 7.15.03.fti.

2. In bracket 3, insert either --clearly anticipated-- or --anticipated-- with an explanation at the end of the paragraph.

3. In bracket 4, insert the prior art relied upon.

4. This rejection must be preceded either by form paragraph 7.07.fti and form paragraphs 7.08.fti, 7.09.fti, and 7.14.fti as appropriate, or by form paragraph 7.103.

5. If pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) is also being applied, this form paragraph must be followed by either form paragraph 7.15.01.fti, 7.15.02.fti or 7.15.03.fti.

6. For applications with an actual filing date on or after March 16, 2013, that claim priority to, or the benefit of, an application filed before March 16, 2013, this form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.06.

¶ 7.19.fti    Rejection, pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f), Applicant Not the Inventor

Claim [1] is/are rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) because the applicant did not invent the claimed subject matter. [2]

Examiner Note:

1. This paragraph must be preceded either by paragraphs 7.07.fti and 7.13.fti or by paragraph 7.103.

2. In bracket 2, insert an explanation of the supporting evidence establishing that applicant was not the inventor. See MPEP § 2137.

¶ 7.21.aia    Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 103

Claim [1] is/are rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103 as being unpatentable over [2].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. This form paragraph must be preceded by either form paragraph 7.20.aia or form paragraph 7.103.

3. An explanation of the rejection must follow this form paragraph. See MPEP § 2144.

4. If this rejection is a provisional 35 U.S.C. 103 rejection based upon a copending application that would constitute prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) if patented or published, use form paragraph 7.21.01.aia instead of this paragraph.

5. In bracket 1, insert the claim numbers which are under rejection.

6. In bracket 2, insert the prior art relied upon.

7. For applications claiming priority to, or the benefit of, an application filed before March 16, 2013, this form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.06.

¶ 7.21.fti    Rejection, Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a)

Claim [1] is/are rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) as being unpatentable over [2].

Examiner Note:

1. This paragraph must be preceded by either form paragraph 7.20.fti or form paragraph 7.103.

2. An explanation of the rejection must follow this form paragraph. See MPEP § 2144.

3. If the rejection relies upon prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), use pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as amended by the American Inventors Protection Act to determine the reference’s prior art date, unless the reference is a U.S. patent issued directly, or indirectly, from an international application which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000. In other words, use pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) only if the reference is a U.S. patent issued directly or indirectly from either a national stage of an international application (application under 35 U.S.C. 371 ) which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000 or a continuing application claiming benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121 or 365(c) to an international application having an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000. See the Examiner Notes for form paragraphs 7.12.fti and 7.12.01.fti to assist in the determination of the reference’s 35 U.S.C. 102(e) date.

4. If the applicability of this rejection (e.g., the availability of the prior art as a reference under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b) ) prevents the reference from being disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c), form paragraph 7.20.01.fti must follow this form paragraph.

5. If this rejection is a provisional pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) rejection based upon a copending application that would comprise prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) if patented or published, use form paragraph 7.21.01.fti instead of this paragraph.

6. In bracket 1, insert the claim numbers which are under rejection.

7. In bracket 2, insert the prior art relied upon.

Further, if the conflicting applications have different effective U.S. filing dates, the examiner should consider making a provisional rejection in the later filed application, based on the earlier filed application, under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2), using form paragraph 7.15.01.aia, under 35 U.S.C. 103 using form paragraph 7.21.01.aia, or under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) or 102(e) /103(a), using form paragraph 7.15.01.fti or 7.21.01.fti. Rejections under 35 U.S.C. 102 or 103 cannot be obviated solely by the filing of a terminal disclaimer.

¶ 7.15.01.aia    Provisional Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) - Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or At Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim(s) [1] is/are provisionally rejected under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) as being anticipated by copending Application No. [2] which has a common [3] with the instant application.

Based upon the earlier effective filing date of the copending application, it would constitute prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2), if published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b) or patented under 35 U.S.C. 151. This provisional rejection under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) is based upon a presumption of future publication or patenting of the copending application. [4].

This provisional rejection under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) might be overcome by: (1) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(a) that the subject matter disclosed in the copending application was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor of this application and is thus not prior art in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(A); (2) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(b) of a prior public disclosure under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(B); or (3) a statement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) establishing that, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, the subject matter disclosed in the copending application and the claimed invention were either owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person or subject to a joint research agreement.

This rejection may not be overcome by the filing of a terminal disclaimer. See In re Bartfeld, 925 F.2d 1450, 17 USPQ2d 1885 (Fed. Cir. 1991).

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. This form paragraph is used to provisionally reject over a copending application with an earlier effective filing date that discloses the claimed invention and has not been published under 35 U.S.C. 122. The copending application must have either a common assignee, common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ) or at least one common joint inventor.

3. 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) may be applied if the reference names another inventor (i.e., a different inventive entity) and is one of the following:

a. a U.S. patent granted under 35 U.S.C. 151 that has an effectively filed date earlier than the application;

b. a U.S. Patent Application Publication published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b) that has an effectively filed date earlier than the effective filing date of the application; or

c. a WIPO publication of an international application (PCT) or international design application that designates the United States where the WIPO publication has an effectively filed date earlier than the effective filing date of the application.

If any of the three types of prior art documents under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) issued or was published before the effective filing date of the application under examination, then the prior art document is also applicable under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1).

4. If the claims would have been obvious over the invention disclosed in the other copending application, use form paragraph 7.21.01.aia.

5. In bracket 1, insert claim number(s) under rejection.

6. In bracket 2, insert the application number.

7. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

8. In bracket 4, provide an appropriate explanation of the examiner’s position on anticipation.

9. Under 35 U.S.C. 101, two patents are not permitted to issue on identical subject matter. Any claims in the instant application directed to the same invention claimed in the reference should be provisionally rejected using form paragraphs 8.30 and 8.32. Additionally, the applicant should be required to amend or cancel claims such that the applied reference and the instant application no longer contain claims directed to the same invention using form paragraph 8.27.aia.

10. Any claims in the instant application that are directed to subject matter that is not patentably distinct from an invention claimed in the reference should be rejected (or provisionally rejected if the reference has not yet issued as a patent) on the grounds of nonstatutory double patenting using form paragraph 8.33 and at least one of form paragraphs 8.34 - 8.39.

11. For applications claiming priority to, or the benefit of, an application filed before March 16, 2013, this form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.06.

¶ 7.21.01.aia    Provisional Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 103, Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or at Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim [1] is/are provisionally rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103 as being obvious over copending Application No. [2] which has a common [3] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effectively filed date of the copending application, it would constitute prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) if published or patented. This provisional rejection under 35 U.S.C. 103 is based upon a presumption of future publication or patenting of the copending application. [4]

This provisional rejection might be overcome by: (1) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(a) that the subject matter disclosed in the copending application was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor of this application and is thus not prior art in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(A); (2) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(b) of a prior public disclosure under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(B); or (3) a statement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) establishing that, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, the subject matter disclosed in the copending application and the claimed invention either were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person or subject to a joint research agreement. See generally MPEP § 717.02.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. This paragraph is used to provisionally reject claims not patentably distinct from the disclosure in a copending application having an earlier effectively filed date and also having either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor.

3. If the claimed invention is fully disclosed in the copending application, use form paragraph 7.15.01.aia.

4. In bracket 1, insert the claim number(s) which is/are under rejection.

5. In bracket 2, insert the application number.

6. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

7. In bracket 4, insert an explanation of obviousness. See MPEP § 2144.

8. If the claimed invention is not patentably distinct from the invention claimed in the copending application, a provisional nonstatutory double patenting rejection should additionally be made using form paragraphs 8.33 and 8.37.

¶ 7.15.01.fti    Provisional Rejection, Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) - Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or At Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim(s) [1] is/are provisionally rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as being anticipated by copending Application No. [2] which has a common [3] with the instant application.

Based upon the earlier effective U.S. filing date of the copending application, it would constitute prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), if published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b) or patented. This provisional rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) is based upon a presumption of future publication or patenting of the copending application. [4].

This provisional rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) might be overcome either by a showing under 37 CFR 1.132 that any invention disclosed but not claimed in the copending application was derived from the inventor of this application and is thus not the invention "by another," or by an appropriate showing under 37 CFR 1.131(a).

This rejection may not be overcome by the filing of a terminal disclaimer. See In re Bartfeld, 925 F.2d 1450, 17 USPQ2d 1885 (Fed. Cir. 1991).

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph is used to provisionally reject over a copending application with an earlier filing date that discloses the claimed invention which has not been published under 35 U.S.C. 122. The copending application must have either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor.

2. Use pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as amended by the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) and the Intellectual Property and High Technology Technical Amendments Act of 2002 (form paragraph 7.12.fti) to determine the copending application’s prior art date, unless the copending application is based directly, or indirectly, from an international application which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000. If the copending application is either a national stage of an international application (application under 35 U.S.C. 371 ) which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, or a continuing application claiming benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) to an international application having an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, use pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) (form paragraph 7.12.01.fti). See the Examiner Notes for form paragraphs 7.12.fti and 7.12.01.fti to assist in the determination of the reference’s 35 U.S.C. 102(e) date.

3. If the claims would have been obvious over the invention disclosed in the other copending application, use form paragraph 7.21.01.fti.

4. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

5. In bracket 4, an appropriate explanation may be provided in support of the examiner’s position on anticipation, if necessary.

6. Under 35 U.S.C. 101, two patents are not permitted to issue on identical subject matter. Any claims in the instant application directed to the same invention claimed in the reference should be provisionally rejected using form paragraphs 8.30 and 8.32. Additionally, the applicant should be required to amend or cancel claims such that the applied reference and the instant application no longer contain claims directed to the same invention using form paragraph 8.27.fti.

7. Any claims in the instant application that are directed to subject matter that is not patentably distinct from an invention claimed in the reference should be rejected (or provisionally rejected if the reference has not yet issued as a patent) on the grounds of nonstatutory double patenting using form paragraph 8.33 and at least one of form paragraphs 8.34 - 8.39.

8. If evidence is additionally of record to show that either invention is prior art to the other under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) or (g), a rejection using form paragraphs 7.13.fti and/or 7.14.fti should also be made.

9. For applications with an actual filing date on or after March 16, 2013 that claim priority to, or the benefit of, an application filed before March 16, 2013, this form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.06.

¶ 7.21.01.fti    Provisional Rejection, Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a), Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or at Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim [1] is/are provisionally rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) as being obvious over copending Application No. [2] which has a common [3] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effective U.S. filing date of the copending application, it would constitute prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) if published or patented. This provisional rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) is based upon a presumption of future publication or patenting of the copending application. [4]

This provisional rejection might be overcome either by a showing under 37 CFR 1.132 that any invention disclosed but not claimed in the copending application was derived from the inventor or joint inventors (i.e., the inventive entity) of this application and is thus not the invention "by another," or by a showing of a date of invention for the instant application prior to the effective U.S. filing date of the copending application under 37 CFR 1.131(a). This rejection might also be overcome by showing that the copending application is disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as prior art in a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a). See MPEP § 706.02(l)(1) and § 706.02(l)(2).

Examiner Note:

1. This paragraph is used to provisionally reject claims not patentably distinct from the disclosure in a copending application having an earlier U.S. filing date and also having either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor. This form paragraph should not be used when the copending application is disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as prior art in a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) rejection. See MPEP § 706.02(l)(3).

2. Use pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as amended by the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) to determine the copending application's prior art date, unless the copending application is based directly, or indirectly, from an international application which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000. If the copending application is either a national stage of an international application (application under 35 U.S.C. 371 ) which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, or a continuing application claiming benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) to an international application having an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, use pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) to determine the copending application’s prior art date. See the Examiner Notes for form paragraphs 7.12.fti and 7.12.01.fti to assist in the determination of the reference’s pre-AIA and pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) dates, respectively.

3. If the claimed invention is fully disclosed in the copending application, use paragraph 7.15.01.fti.

4. In bracket 1, insert the claim number(s) which is/are under rejection.

5. In bracket 2, insert the application number.

6. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

7. In bracket 4, insert an explanation of obviousness. See MPEP § 2144.

8. If the claimed invention is not patentably distinct from the invention claimed in the copending application, a provisional obviousness double patenting rejection should additionally be made using form paragraphs 8.33 and 8.37.

9. A rejection should additionally be made under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) using form paragraph 7.21.fti if:

a. evidence indicates that the copending application is also prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) or (g) (e.g., applicant has named the prior inventor in response to a requirement made using form paragraph 8.28.fti); and

b. the copending application has not been disqualified as prior art in a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) rejection pursuant to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c).

¶ 7.15.02.aia    Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2), Common Assignee, Applicant, or Joint Inventor(s)

Claim(s) [1] is/are rejected under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) as being [2] by [3].

The applied reference has a common [4] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effectively filed date of the reference, it constitutes prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2). This rejection under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) might be overcome by: (1) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(a) that the subject matter disclosed in the reference was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor of this application and is thus not prior art in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(A); (2) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(b) of a prior public disclosure under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(B) if the same invention is not being claimed; or (3) a statement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) establishing that, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, the subject matter disclosed in the reference and the claimed invention were either owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person or subject to a joint research agreement.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. This form paragraph is used to reject claims under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) over a U.S. patent, U.S. patent application publication, or WIPO publication with an earlier effectively filed date. These references must have either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor.

3. 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) may be applied if the reference names another inventor (i.e., a different inventive entity) and is one of the following:

a. a U.S. patent granted under 35 U.S.C. 151 that has an effectively filed date earlier than the effective filing date of the claimed invention;

b. a U.S. Patent Application Publication published under 35 U.S.C. 122(b) that has an effectively filed date earlier than the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or

c. a WIPO publication of an international application (PCT) or international design application that designates the United States where the WIPO publication has an effectively filed date earlier than the effective filing date of the claimed invention.

If any of the three types of prior art documents under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) was published before the effective filing date of the claimed invention under examination, then the prior art document is also applicable under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1).

4. In bracket 1, insert the claim numbers which are under rejection.

5. In bracket 2, insert either --clearly anticipated-- or --anticipated-- with an explanation at the end of the paragraph.

6. In bracket 3, insert the prior art relied upon.

7. In bracket 4, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

8. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.12.aia.

9. Under 35 U.S.C. 101, two patents are not permitted to issue on identical subject matter. Any claims in the instant application directed to the same invention claimed in the reference should be rejected (or provisionally rejected if the reference has not yet issued as a patent) on the grounds of statutory double patenting using form paragraphs 8.30 - 8.32. Additionally, the applicant should be required to amend or cancel claims such that the reference and the instant application no longer contain claims directed to the same invention using form paragraph 8.27.aia.

10. Any claims in the instant application that are directed to subject matter that is not patentably distinct from an invention claimed in the reference should be rejected (or provisionally rejected if the reference has not yet issued as a patent) on the grounds of nonstatutory double patenting using form paragraph 8.33 and at least one of form paragraphs 8.34 - 8.39.

11. For applications claiming priority to, or the benefit of, an application filed before March 16, 2013, this form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.06.

¶ 7.15.02.fti    Rejection, Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), Common Assignee, Applicant, or Joint Inventor

Claim(s) [1] is/are rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as being anticipated by [2].

The applied reference has a common [3] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effective U.S. filing date of the reference, it constitutes prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e). This rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) might be overcome either by a showing under 37 CFR 1.132 that any invention disclosed but not claimed in the reference was derived from the inventor or joint inventors (i.e., the inventive entity) of this application and is thus not the invention "by another," or if the same invention is not being claimed, by an appropriate showing under 37 CFR 1.131(a).

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph is used to reject over a patent or patent application publication with an earlier effective filing date. The patent or patent application publication must have either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or a common joint inventor.

2. Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as amended by the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) and the Intellectual Property and High Technology Technical Amendments Act of 2002 (form paragraph 7.12.fti) must be applied if the reference is by another and is one of the following:

a. a U.S. patent or a publication of a U.S. application for patent filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a);

b. a U.S. patent issued directly or indirectly from, or a U.S. or WIPO publication of, an international application (PCT) if the international application has an international filing date on or after November 29, 2000;

c. a U.S. patent issued from, or a WIPO publication of, an international design application that designates the United States.

See the Examiner Notes for form paragraph 7.12.fti to assist in the determination of the pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) date of the reference.

3. Pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) (form paragraph 7.12.01.fti) must be applied if the reference is a U.S. patent issued directly, or indirectly, from an international application filed prior to November 29, 2000. See the Examiner Notes for form paragraph 7.12.01.fti to assist in the determination of the pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) date of the reference.

4. In determining the pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) date, consider benefit claims to earlier-filed U.S. provisional applications under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), and to earlier-filed U.S. nonprovisional applications and international applications under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) if the subject matter used to make the rejection is appropriately supported in the relied upon earlier-filed application’s disclosure (and any intermediate application(s)). A benefit claim to a U.S. patent of an earlier-filed international application, which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, may only result in an effective U.S. filing date as of the date the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 371(c)(1), (2) and (4) were fulfilled. Do NOT consider any benefit claims to U.S. applications which are filed before an international application that has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000. Do NOT consider foreign priority claims under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) - (d), 365(a) or (b), or 386(a) or (b).

In addition, if the reference is a U.S. patent, the patent is only entitled to the benefit of the filing date of a provisional application if at least one of the claims in the patent is supported by the written description of the provisional application in compliance with 35 U.S.C. 112(a). See Dynamic Drinkware, LLC, v. National Graphics, Inc., 800 F.3d 1375, 116 USPQ2d 1045 (Fed. Cir. 2015). U.S. application publications and international publications do not necessarily contain patentable, or any, claims, and are thus not subject to this additional requirement, unless the subject matter being relied upon in making the rejection is only disclosed in the claims of the publication.

5. If the reference is a publication of an international application (PCT), including voluntary U.S. publication under 35 U.S.C. 122 of the national stage or a WIPO PCT publication, that has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, did not designate the United States or was not published in English by WIPO, do not use this form paragraph. Such a reference is not a prior art reference under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e). The reference may be applied under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) or (b) as of its publication date. See form paragraphs 7.08.fti and 7.09.fti.

6. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

7. This form paragraph must be preceded by either of form paragraphs 7.12.fti or 7.12.01.fti.

8. Patent application publications may only be used if this form paragraph was preceded by form paragraph 7.12.fti.

9. For applications with an actual filing date on or after March 16, 2013, that claim priority to, or the benefit of, an application filed before March 16, 2013, this form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.06.

10. Under 35 U.S.C. 101, two patents are not permitted to issue on identical subject matter. Any claims in the instant application directed to the same invention claimed in the reference should be rejected (or provisionally rejected if the reference has not yet issued as a patent) using form paragraphs 8.30 - 8.32. Additionally, the applicant should be required to resolve any issue of priority under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(g) and possibly pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) using form paragraph 8.27.fti. See MPEP § 804, subsection II.A.

11. Any claims in the instant application that are directed to subject matter that is not patentably distinct from an invention claimed in the reference should be rejected (or provisionally rejected if the reference has not yet issued as a patent) on the grounds of nonstatutory double patenting using form paragraph 8.33 and at least one of form paragraphs 8.34 - 8.39.

¶ 7.21.01.aia    Provisional Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 103, Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or at Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim [1] is/are provisionally rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103 as being obvious over copending Application No. [2] which has a common [3] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effectively filed date of the copending application, it would constitute prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2) if published or patented. This provisional rejection under 35 U.S.C. 103 is based upon a presumption of future publication or patenting of the copending application. [4]

This provisional rejection might be overcome by: (1) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(a) that the subject matter disclosed in the copending application was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor of this application and is thus not prior art in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(A); (2) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(b) of a prior public disclosure under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(B); or (3) a statement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) establishing that, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, the subject matter disclosed in the copending application and the claimed invention either were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person or subject to a joint research agreement. See generally MPEP § 717.02.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. This paragraph is used to provisionally reject claims not patentably distinct from the disclosure in a copending application having an earlier effectively filed date and also having either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor.

3. If the claimed invention is fully disclosed in the copending application, use form paragraph 7.15.01.aia.

4. In bracket 1, insert the claim number(s) which is/are under rejection.

5. In bracket 2, insert the application number.

6. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

7. In bracket 4, insert an explanation of obviousness. See MPEP § 2144.

8. If the claimed invention is not patentably distinct from the invention claimed in the copending application, a provisional nonstatutory double patenting rejection should additionally be made using form paragraphs 8.33 and 8.37.

¶ 7.21.01.fti    Provisional Rejection, Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a), Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or at Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim [1] is/are provisionally rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) as being obvious over copending Application No. [2] which has a common [3] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effective U.S. filing date of the copending application, it would constitute prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) if published or patented. This provisional rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) is based upon a presumption of future publication or patenting of the copending application. [4]

This provisional rejection might be overcome either by a showing under 37 CFR 1.132 that any invention disclosed but not claimed in the copending application was derived from the inventor or joint inventors (i.e., the inventive entity) of this application and is thus not the invention "by another," or by a showing of a date of invention for the instant application prior to the effective U.S. filing date of the copending application under 37 CFR 1.131(a). This rejection might also be overcome by showing that the copending application is disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as prior art in a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a). See MPEP § 706.02(l)(1) and § 706.02(l)(2).

Examiner Note:

1. This paragraph is used to provisionally reject claims not patentably distinct from the disclosure in a copending application having an earlier U.S. filing date and also having either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor. This form paragraph should not be used when the copending application is disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as prior art in a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) rejection. See MPEP § 706.02(l)(3).

2. Use pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as amended by the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) to determine the copending application's prior art date, unless the copending application is based directly, or indirectly, from an international application which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000. If the copending application is either a national stage of an international application (application under 35 U.S.C. 371 ) which has an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, or a continuing application claiming benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) to an international application having an international filing date prior to November 29, 2000, use pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) to determine the copending application’s prior art date. See the Examiner Notes for form paragraphs 7.12.fti and 7.12.01.fti to assist in the determination of the reference’s pre-AIA and pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) dates, respectively.

3. If the claimed invention is fully disclosed in the copending application, use paragraph 7.15.01.fti.

4. In bracket 1, insert the claim number(s) which is/are under rejection.

5. In bracket 2, insert the application number.

6. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

7. In bracket 4, insert an explanation of obviousness. See MPEP § 2144.

8. If the claimed invention is not patentably distinct from the invention claimed in the copending application, a provisional obviousness double patenting rejection should additionally be made using form paragraphs 8.33 and 8.37.

9. A rejection should additionally be made under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) using form paragraph 7.21.fti if:

a. evidence indicates that the copending application is also prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) or (g) (e.g., applicant has named the prior inventor in response to a requirement made using form paragraph 8.28.fti); and

b. the copending application has not been disqualified as prior art in a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) rejection pursuant to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c).

¶ 7.21.02.aia    Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 103, Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or at Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim [1] is/are rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103 as being obvious over [2].

The applied reference has a common [3] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effectively filed date of the reference, it constitutes prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2). [4]

This rejection under 35 U.S.C. 103 might be overcome by: (1) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(a) that the subject matter disclosed in the reference was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor of this application and is thus not prior art in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(A); (2) a showing under 37 CFR 1.130(b) of a prior public disclosure under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(B); or (3) a statement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) establishing that, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention were either owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person or subject to a joint research agreement. See generally MPEP § 717.02.

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. This paragraph is used to reject over a reference (patent or published application) with an earlier effectively filed date that discloses the claimed invention, and that ONLY qualifies as prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2). If the reference qualifies as prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1), then this form paragraph should not be used (form paragraph 7.21.aia should be used instead). The reference must have either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor. This form paragraph should not be used in applications when the reference is not prior art in view of the 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C) exception.

3. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

4. In bracket 4, insert an explanation of obviousness. See MPEP § 2144.

¶ 7.22.aia    Rejection, 35 U.S.C. 103, Further in View Of

Claim [1] is/are rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103 as being unpatentable over [2] as applied to claim [3] above, and further in view of [4].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph should only be used in an application filed on or after March 16, 2013, where the claims are being examined under 35 U.S.C. 102 /103 as amended by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.03.aia.

2. This form paragraph must be preceded by form paragraph 7.21.aia.

3. An explanation of the rejection must follow this form paragraph. See MPEP § 2144.

¶ 7.21.02.fti    Rejection, pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a), Common Assignee, Common Applicant, or at Least One Common Joint Inventor

Claim [1] is/are rejected under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) as being obvious over [2].

The applied reference has a common [3] with the instant application. Based upon the earlier effective U.S. filing date of the reference, it constitutes prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e). This rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) might be overcome by: (1) a showing under 37 CFR 1.132 that any invention disclosed but not claimed in the reference was derived from the inventor of this application and is thus not an invention "by another"; (2) a showing of a date of invention for the claimed subject matter of the application which corresponds to subject matter disclosed but not claimed in the reference, prior to the effective U.S. filing date of the reference under 37 CFR 1.131(a); or (3) an oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.131(c) stating that the application and reference are currently owned by the same party and that the inventor or joint inventors (i.e., the inventive entity) named in the application is the prior inventor under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 104 as in effect on March 15, 2013, together with a terminal disclaimer in accordance with 37 CFR 1.321(c). This rejection might also be overcome by showing that the reference is disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as prior art in a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a). See MPEP §§ 706.02(l)(1) and 706.02(l)(2). [4]

Examiner Note:

1. This paragraph is used to reject over a reference (patent or published application) with an earlier filing date that discloses the claimed invention, and that only qualifies as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e). If the reference qualifies as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) or (b), then this form paragraph should not be used (form paragraph 7.21.fti should be used instead). The reference must have either a common assignee, a common applicant (35 U.S.C. 118 ), or at least one common joint inventor. This form paragraph should not be used in applications when the reference is disqualified under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as prior art in a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(a) rejection. See MPEP § 706.02(l)(3).

2. Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) as amended by the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) must be applied if the reference is by another and is one of the following:

a. a U.S. patent or a publication of a U.S. application for patent filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a);

b. a U.S. patent issued directly or indirectly from, or a U.S. or WIPO publication of, an international application (PCT) if the international application has an international filing date on or after November 29, 2000;

c. a U.S. patent issued from, or a WIPO publication of, an international design application that designates the United States.

See the Examiner Notes for form paragraph 7.12.fti to assist in the determination of the pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) date of the reference.

3. Pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) must be applied if the reference is a U.S. patent issued directly, or indirectly, from an international application filed prior to November 29, 2000. See the Examiner Notes for form paragraph 7.12.01.fti to assist in the determination of the pre-AIPA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) date of the reference.

4. In bracket 1, insert the claim number(s) which is/are under rejection.

5. In bracket 2, insert the prior art reference(s) relied upon for the obviousness rejection.

6. In bracket 3, insert --assignee--, --applicant--, or --joint inventor--.

7. In bracket 4, insert an explanation of obviousness. See MPEP § 2144.