MPEP 2304.01(a)
Interference Search

Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 10.2019, Last Revised in June 2020

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2304.01(a)    Interference Search [R-10.2019]

When an application is in condition for allowance, an interference search must be made by using the most efficient and effective manner based on the claimed subject matter in the broadest claim (e.g., by performing a text search, or a classified search, or a combination of text search and classified search, of the "US-PGPUB" database in EAST or WEST). Examiners are reminded that some applications, such as continuation-in-part applications, may contain claims entitled to different effective filing dates (see MPEP §§ 2133.01 and 2152.01), and that each effective filing date should be considered when performing the interference search. If the application contains a claim directed to a nucleotide or peptide sequence, the examiner must submit a request to STIC to perform an interference search of the sequence. If the search results identify any potential interfering subject matter, the examiner will review the application(s) with the potential interfering subject to determine whether interfering subject matter exists. If interfering subject matter does exist, the examiner will follow the guidance set forth in this chapter. If there is no interfering subject matter then the examiner should prepare the application for issuance. The interference search must be made of record in the application file. See MPEP § 719.05, subsection III.

The search for interfering applications must not be limited to only the classes or subgroups in which the application is classified, but must be extended to all classes in which it has been necessary to search in the examination of the application. See MPEP § 1302.08. An interference search may be required in TC Working Group 3640. Inspection of pertinent prints, drawings, brief cards, and applications in TC Working Group 3640 will be done on request by an examiner in TC Working Group 3640.