Rule 44 – Unity of invention - The European Patent Convention, Implementing Regulations – to the Convention on the Grant of European Patents, Part III – Implementing Regulations to Part III of the Convention, Chapter II – Provisions governing the application
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Where a group of inventions is claimed in a European patent application, the requirement of unity of invention under Article 82 shall be fulfilled only when there is a technical relationship among those inventions involving one or more of the same or corresponding special technical features. The expression "special technical features" shall mean those features which define a contribution which each of the claimed inventions considered as a whole makes over the prior art.
The determination whether a group of inventions is so linked as to form a single general inventive concept shall be made without regard to whether the inventions are claimed in separate claims or as alternatives within a single claim.