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Guidelines for Examination


The parent and divisional applications may not claim the same subject-matter (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.