[Editor Note: This MPEP section is not applicable to applications subject to examination under the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA as explained in 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) and MPEP § 2159. See MPEP § 2154 et seq. for the examination of applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA involving, inter alia, rejections based on U.S. patent documents.]
Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), in part, allows for certain prior art (i.e., U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications and WIPO publications of international applications) to be applied against the claims as of its effective U.S. filing date. This provision of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 is mostly utilized when the publication or issue date is too recent for the reference to be applied under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b). In order to apply a reference under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e), the inventive entity of the application must be different than that of the reference. Note that, where there are joint inventors, only one inventor needs to be different for the inventive entities to be different and a rejection under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) is applicable even if there are some inventors in common between the application and the reference.