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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

4.23 Broad claims

The Convention does not explicitly mention overly broad claims. However, objections to such claims may arise for various reasons.

Where there are discrepancies between the claims and the description, the claims are not sufficiently supported by the description (Art. 84) and also, in most cases, the invention is not sufficiently disclosed (Art. 83, see T 409/91, and F‑IV, 6.1).

Sometimes an objection of lack of novelty arises, for example if the claim is formulated in such broad terms that it also covers known subject-matter from other technical fields. Broad claims may also cover embodiments for which a purported effect has not been achieved. On raising an objection of lack of inventive step in such cases, see G‑VII, 5.2.

For broad claims in opposition proceedings, see also D‑V, 4 and 5.

References

Art. 54 and Art. 56