MPEP Q & A 9: Two Types of Double Patenting Rejections



What are the two types of double patenting rejections?


There are generally two types of double patenting rejections.

  • One is the “same invention” type double patenting rejection based on 35 U.S.C. 101 which states in the singular that an inventor “may obtain a patent.”
  • The second is the “nonstatutory-type” double patenting rejection based on a judicially created doctrine grounded in public policy and which is primarily intended to prevent prolongation of the patent term by prohibiting claims in a second patent not patentably distinct from claims in a first patent.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 800 of the MPEP. This chapter covers the Restriction in Applications Filed Under 35 U.S.C. 111; Double Patenting.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may or may not be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question comes from section 804 of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 804.

804 Definition of Double Patenting

This section provides specific details on double patenting. Essentially, double patenting seeks to prevent the unjustified extension of patent rights beyond the term of a patent. This section covers when double patenting is possible along with the requirements of double patenting rejections. Obviousness type nonstatutory double patenting is also discussed including two-way obviousness.

This section also discusses disclaimers which may be used to disclaim or dedicate part of a patent term. The topics discussed include terms, terminal disclaimers, statutory double patenting rejections, and nonstatutory rejections.

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