35 U.S.C. 119 (pre‑AIA): Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

Current Pre-AIA AIA Redline

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35 U.S.C. 119 (pre‑AIA)   Benefit of earlier filing date; right of priority.

[Editor Note: pre‑AIA 35 U.S.C. 119(a) as set forth below is applicable to patent applications not subject to the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA (see 35 U.S.C. 100 (note) ). See 35 U.S.C. 119(a) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) An application for patent for an invention filed in this country by any person who has, or whose legal representatives or assigns have, previously regularly filed an application for a patent for the same invention in a foreign country which affords similar privileges in the case of applications filed in the United States or to citizens of the United States, or in a WTO member country, shall have the same effect as the same application would have if filed in this country on the date on which the application for patent for the same invention was first filed in such foreign country, if the application in this country is filed within twelve months from the earliest date on which such foreign application was filed; but no patent shall be granted on any application for patent for an invention which had been patented or described in a printed publication in any country more than one year before the date of the actual filing of the application in this country, or which had been in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to such filing.

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(Amended Oct. 3, 1961, Public Law 87-333, sec. 1, 75 Stat. 748; July 28, 1972, Public Law 92-358, sec. 1, 86 Stat. 501; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, 88 Stat. 1949; Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4985; subsection (b) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-563 (S. 1948 sec.4503(a)); subsection (e) amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-564, 588, 589 (S. 1948 secs. 4503(b)(2), 4801 and 4802; subsections (f) and (g) added Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-589 (S. 1948 sec. 4802); subsections (e), (g) amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 15(b) (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284.)