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2150    Examination Guidelines for 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 as Amended by the First Inventor To File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act [R-11.2013]

[Editor Note: See MPEP § 2159 et seq. to determine whether an application is subject to examination under the FITF provisions, and MPEP § 2131-MPEP § 2138 for examination of applications subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102.]

Continued Applicability of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103: The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) revised 35 U.S.C. 102 and thereby, the standard to determine what prior art is available during examination of an application. See Pub. L. 112-29, 125 Stat. 284 (2011). The changes to 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 in the AIA do not apply to any application filed before March 16, 2013. Thus, any application filed before March 16, 2013, is governed by pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 (i.e., the application is a pre-AIA (first to invent) application (hereinafter “pre-AIA application”)). Note that neither the filing of a request for continued examination, nor entry into the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, constitutes the filing of a new application. Accordingly, even if a request for continued examination under 37 CFR 1.114 is filed on or after March 16, 2013, in an application that was filed before March 16, 2013, the application remains subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103. Submission of an amendment including a claim that includes new matter on or after March 16, 2013, also does not affect an application’s status as a pre-AIA application. See 35 U.S.C. 132(a). Similarly, a PCT application filed under 35 U.S.C. 363 before March 16, 2013, is subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103, regardless of whether the application enters the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 before or after March 16, 2013. Applications filed on or after March 16, 2013 are also subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 if the application has never contained a claim with an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013 and has never claimed the benefit of an application that ever contained such a claim. MPEP §§ 2131-2138 provide examination guidance on the prior art available in the examination of applications subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102.

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:34