6.5. Reach-through claims

In T 1063/06 (OJ 2009, 516) the board held that a formulation of a claim whereby functionally defined chemical compounds were to be found by means of a new kind of research tool using a screening method set out in the description constituted a reach-through claim which was also directed to future inventions based on the one now being disclosed. The applicant was entitled to claim patent protection only for his actual contribution to the art and not to reserve an unexplored field of research.

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