This revised version of the Guidelines for Examination will apply as from 1 November 2015. Until then, the September 2014 edition of the Guidelines remains valid.

4. Alternatives

Alternative forms of an invention may be claimed either in a plurality of independent claims, as indicated in F‑V, 1, or in a single claim (but see F‑IV, 3.7). In the latter case the presence of the two alternatives as independent forms may not be immediately apparent. In either case, however, the same criteria should be applied in deciding whether or not there is unity of invention, and lack of unity of invention may then also exist within a single claim.

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