MPEP 2123

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← MPEP 2122 ↑ MPEP 2100 MPEP 2124 →


2123 Rejection Over Prior Art's Broad Disclosure Instead of Preferred Embodiments[edit | edit source]

I. PATENTS ARE RELEVANT AS PRIOR ART FOR ALL THEY CONTAIN[edit | edit source]

The use of patents as references is not limited to what the patentees describe as their own inventions or to the problems with which they are concerned. They are part of the literature of the art, relevant for all they contain.

A reference may be relied upon for all that it would have reasonably suggested to one having ordinary skill the art, including nonpreferred embodiments.

See also MPEP § 2131.05 and § 2145, subsection X.D., which discuss prior art that teaches away from the claimed invention in the context of anticipation and obviousness, respectively.

II. NONPREFERRED AND ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS CONSTITUTE PRIOR ART[edit | edit source]

Disclosed examples and preferred embodiments do not constitute a teaching away from a broader disclosure or nonpreferred embodiments. A known or obvious composition does not become patentable simply because it has been described as somewhat inferior to some other product for the same use.

Furthermore, a prior art's mere disclosure of more than one alternative does not constitute a teaching away from any of these alternatives because such disclosure does not criticize, discredit, or otherwise discourage the solution claimed.

← MPEP 2122 ↑ MPEP 2100 MPEP 2124 →