Replacement or removal of a feature features from a claim
The replacement or removal of a feature from a claim does not violate Art. 123(2) if the skilled person would directly and unambiguously recognise that:
the feature was not explained as essential in the disclosure; 
the feature is not, as such, indispensable for the function of the invention in the light of the technical problem the invention serves to solve; and 
the replacement or removal requires no real modification of other features to compensate for the change. 
In case of a replacement by another feature, the replacing feature must of course find support in the original application documents, so as not to contravene Art. 123(2) (see T 331/87).
If several features are deleted from a claim, so that for example it is restricted to only part of the originally claimed apparatus, the subject-matter of the amended claim must be directly and unambiguously derivable from the application as filed as being an invention per se, i.e. it must solve a technical problem and be able to work in the absence of any of the particular features being deleted (T 545/92).

The removal of a limiting feature from an independent granted claim is likely to result in broadening the scope of protection afforded and could therefore contravene Art. 123(3). Likewise, if a feature is replaced, compliance with Art. 123(3) has to be carefully checked.

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