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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

7.3 Method claim to product claim

If a patent is so amended that a claim to a method of operating a device is replaced by a claim directed to the device itself, this change of category is allowable, provided that the original claim contains the claimed features of the device exhaustively, whether in structural or functional terms (see T 378/86 and T 426/89).

If, however, the device as now claimed is for its features no longer dependent on the circumstances of its operation whereas it depended on them under the terms of the prior method claim, then such a change of category should not be allowed (see T 82/93);

By contrast, the change in claim category from a method in which an apparatus is used to the apparatus itself is not allowable (see T 86/90).