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Guidelines for Examination


1.6 Claims

The parent and divisional applications may not claim the same subject-matter, even in different words (see G‑IV, 5.4). This means not only that they must not contain claims of substantially identical scope, but also that one application must not claim the subject-matter claimed in the other, even in different words.The difference between the claimed subject-matter of the two applications must be clearly distinguishable. As a general rule, however, one application may claim its own subject-matter in combination with that of the other application. In other words, if the parent and divisional applications claim separate and distinct elements A and B respectively which function in combination, one of the two applications may also include a claim for A plus B.