717.01(c) Who May Make Affidavit or Declaration; Formal Requirements of Affidavits and Declarations [R-07.2015]

[Editor Note: This MPEP section is only applicable to applications subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA. See 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) and MPEP § 2159. For applications subject to pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103, see MPEP § 716.10 for affidavits or declarations of attribution under 37 CFR 1.132.]


Anyone who has knowledge of the facts discussed in the declaration may sign a declaration under 37 CFR 1.130. In accordance with 37 CFR 1.130, however, it is the applicant or patent owner who may submit (i.e., file) an affidavit or declaration. When an assignee, obligated assignee, or person showing sufficient proprietary interest is the applicant under 35 U.S.C. 118 rather than the inventor, the inventor may sign an affidavit or declaration under 37 CFR 1.130 to disqualify a disclosure of the invention as prior art, but the declaration must be filed by a party having authority to take action in the application. Authority to file papers in an application generally does not lie with the inventor if the inventor is not the applicant.


An affidavit is a statement in writing made under oath before a notary public, magistrate, or officer authorized to administer oaths. See 602et seq. for additional information regarding formal requirements of affidavits.

37 CFR 1.68 permits a declaration to be used instead of an affidavit. The declaration must include an acknowledgment by the declarant that willful false statements and the like are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. 1001) and may jeopardize the validity of the application or any patent issuing thereon. The declarant must set forth in the body of the declaration that all statements made of the declarant’s own knowledge are true and that all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true.

Exhibits, such as those filed as part of an affidavit or declaration under 37 CFR 1.130, must comply with the requirements of 37 CFR 1.91 to be entered into an application file. Exhibits that do not comply with the requirements of 37 CFR 1.91 will be disposed of or returned to applicant at the discretion of the Office. See also MPEP § 608.03(a).