Recent test takers report that question #47 from the October 2003 (PM) test is in the patent bar exam database.
47. To rely in a rejection under 35 USC 102(a) on an invention that is known or publicly used in accordance with patent laws, rules and procedures as related in the MPEP, the invention:
(A) must be known or used in NAFTA or WTO member countries.
(B) must be known or used in a NAFTA member country, but only if the filing date of the application is after the effective date of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.
(C) must be known or used in this country.
(D) can be known or used in any country.
(E) must be known or used in a WTO member country, but only if the filing date of the application is after the effective date of the implementation of the Uruguay Round (WTO) Agreements Act.
ANSWER: (C) is the most correct answer. 35 U.S.C. § 102(a); MPEP § 2132. As set forth in MPEP § 2132, under the heading “II. ‘In This Country,’” subheading “Only Knowledge or Use In The U.S. Can Be Used in a 35 U.S.C. 102(a) Rejection,” states “[t]he knowledge or use relied on in a 35 U.S.C. 102(a) rejection must be knowledge or use ‘in this country.’ Prior knowledge or use which is not present in the United States, even if widespread in a foreign country, cannot be the basis of a rejection under 35 U.S.C. 102(a). In re Ekenstam, 256 F.2d 321, 118 USPQ 349 (CCPA 1958). Note that the changes made to 35 U.S.C.104 by NAFTA (Public Law 103-182) and Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Public Law 103-465) do not modify the meaning of ‘in this country’ as used in 35 U.S.C. 102(a) and thus ‘in this country” still means in the United States for purposes of 35 U.S.C. 102(a) rejections.’” See also MPEP § 706.02(c), “[t]he language ‘in this country’ means in the United States only and does not include other WTO or NAFTA member countries.” Since “in this country” means in the United States for purposes of 35 U.S.C. § 102(a) rejections, (A), (B), (D) and (E) are incorrect.