MPEP 2150 – FITF

Chapter 2100 – Patentability

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 (AIA)

AIA revised 102 and thereby changed what prior art is available during examination. None of these changes apply to pre-AIA cases.
Pre-AIA cases – Any app filed before March 16, 2013
Pre-AIA AKA First to invent cases are still subject to, most commonly, the 102(a), (b), (e), and 103(a) rejections we’re used to. If any claim in an app has priority to an effective filing date before March 16, 2013 (including PCT), it is a pre-AIA application.
First to invent essentially means inventors used to have a grace period to file an application after conception/reduction to practice of their invention to actually file an application. If an inventor could show due diligence, they could file an affidavit and “swear behind” references cited by an examiner in an art rejection.
Conception – think up idea
Actual reduction to practice – make invention
Contructive reduction to practice – file patent app
AIA cases – Any app filed on or after March 16, 2013
Statutes behind 102 and 103 are dissected elsewhere for another day… key takeaway here is that it is always in the best interest of an inventor to file ASAP!
Further reading:
MPEP 706.02 – Rejection on Prior art (
MPEP 2159 – determine whether an application is subject to examination under FITF provisions (
MPEP 2131-2138 – examination of applications subject to pre-AIA 35 USC 102 (



Hello, world!

Welcome to my first post.

To keep sharp in my profession, I¬†generally try to pick at least one chapter of the MPEP to read/review/digest every day. As part of this process, I’ve decided to share it here for easy access and review. I also plan on sharing relevant information. Those either studying to become a patent agent/examiner or are new to patent law may find this blog helpful. I certainly believe in the sharing of knowledge and the idea that we’re all in this together. That being said, I’ll leave the more complex matters to other sites (i.e. PatentlyO and IPWatchdog).

MPEP – Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (BitLaw or USPTO)