Quick Navigation

 

Guidelines for Examination

 
 

10.1 Limitation results in the claims becoming different in different Contracting States

The limitation could result in the claims becoming different in different Contracting States if the requester wishes to restrict the claims with respect to one or more, but not all, Contracting States in order to avoid conflict with national prior rights. Such different sets of claims can be allowed, provided that the substantive requirements are met for all sets.

It follows from Rule 138 that a prerequisite for the introduction of different claims for different Contracting States during the limitation procedure is that the requester informs the EPO of the existence of the national prior rights when filing the different sets of claims. If he files different sets of claims without informing the EPO of the national prior rights, then the request is to be refused under Art. 105b(3) and Rule 138.

For applications filed on or after 13.12.2007, different sets of claims can no longer be justified on the basis of prior art under Art. 54(3) (for transitional provisions, however, see D‑VII, 8).