Question #17 from the April 2003 (AM) patent bar exam is reported by exam takers as a question in the current exam database.
ANSWER: (C) is the most correct answer. As stated in MPEP § 2172.01, “a claim which fails to interrelate essential elements of the invention as defined by applicant(s) in the specification may be rejected under 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph, for failure to point out and distinctly claim the invention. See In re Venezia, 530 F.2d 956, 189 USPQ 149 (CCPA 1976); In re Collier, 397 F.2d 1003, 158 USPQ 266 (CCPA 1968).” (A) is incorrect. As stated in MPEP § 2172.01, “A claim which omits matter disclosed to be essential to the invention as described in the specification or in other statements of record may be rejected under 35 U.S.C. § 112, first paragraph, as not enabling. In re Mayhew, 527 F.2d 1229, 188 USPQ 356 (CCPA 1976)”; MPEP § 2164.08(c). (B) is incorrect. As stated in MPEP § 2165, “Failure to disclose the best mode need not rise to the level of active concealment or grossly inequitable conduct in order to support a rejection or invalidate a patent. Where an inventor knows of a specific material that will make possible the successful reproduction of the effects claimed by the patent, but does not disclose it, speaking instead in terms of broad categories, the best mode requirement has not been satisfied. Union Carbide Corp. v. Borg – Warner, 550 F.2d 555, 193 USPQ 1 (6th Cir. 1977).” (D) is incorrect. MPEP § 2165.01, under the heading “Defect In Best Mode Cannot Be Cured By New Matter,” indicates that if there is no disclosure of the best mode contemplated by the inventor at the time the application is filed, such a defect cannot be cured by submitting an amendment seeking to put into the specification something required to be there when the patent application was originally filed. In re Hay, 534 F.2d 917, 189 USPQ 790 (CCPA 1976). Any proposed amendment of this type should be treated as new matter. MPEP § 2165.01. (E) is incorrect. As stated in MPEP § 2165.02, “The best mode requirement is a separate and distinct requirement from the enablement requirement of the first paragraph of 35 U.S.C. § 112. In re Newton, 414 F.2d 1400, 163 USPQ 34 (CCPA 1969).