2005 Comparison to Requirement for Information [R-08.2012]
Under 37 CFR 1.56, each individual associated with the filing and prosecution of a patent application has a duty to disclose on his or her own initiative information material to patentability under 37 CFR 1.56. By contrast, under 37 CFR 1.105, an examiner or other Office employee is authorized to require, from parties identified in 37 CFR 1.56, information reasonably necessary to examine or treat a matter in an application. The provisions of 37 CFR 1.105 are detailed in MPEP § 704 et seq. The criteria for requiring information under 37 CFR 1.56, i.e., materiality to the patentability of claimed subject matter, is substantially higher than the criteria for requiring information under 37 CFR 1.105, i.e., reasonable necessity to the examination of the application. See, e.g., Star Fruits S.N.C. v. United States, 280 F.Supp.2d 512, 515-61 (E.D. Va 2003)(“Beyond that which a patent applicant is duty-bound to disclose pursuant to 37 CFR 1.56, an examiner may require the production of ‘such information as may be reasonably necessary to properly examine or treat the matter.’”). Thus, information required by the examiner pursuant to 37 CFR 1.105 would not necessarily be considered material to patentability in itself, but would be necessary to obtain a complete record from which a determination of patentability will be made.