MPEP Q & A 97: Nonstatutory Double Patenting Rejection Made Under Obviousness Analysis

 Nonstatutory Double Patenting


What must any nonstatutory double patenting rejection made under the obviousness analysis make clear?


Any nonstatutory double patenting rejection made under the obviousness analysis should make clear:

  • (A) The differences between the inventions defined by the conflicting claims — a claim in the patent compared to a claim in the application; and
  • (B) The reasons why a person of ordinary skill in the art would conclude that the invention defined in the claim at issue would have been an obvious variation of the invention defined in a claim in the patent.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 800 of the MPEP. This chapter covers restrictions.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer 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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