Interpretation of expressions such as "Apparatus for ...", "Product for ... "

If a claim commences with such words as "Apparatus for carrying out the process ...", this must be construed as meaning merely apparatus suitable for carrying out the process. An apparatus which otherwise possesses all of the features specified in the claims but which is unsuitable for the stated purpose or requires modifications to enable it to be so used for said purpose, is normally not considered as anticipating the claim.

Similar considerations apply to a claim for a product for a particular use. For example, if a claim refers to a "mould for molten steel", this implies certain limitations for the mould. Therefore, a plastic ice cube tray with a melting point much lower than that of steel does not come within the claim. Similarly, a claim to a substance or composition for a particular use is construed as meaning a substance or composition which is in fact suitable for the stated use; a known product which prima facie is the same as the substance or composition defined in the claim, but which is in a form which renders it unsuitable for the stated use, does not deprive the claim of novelty. However, if the known product is in a form in which it is in fact suitable for the stated use, though it has never been described for that use, it deprives the claim of novelty.

An exception to this general principle of interpretation is where the claim is to a known substance or composition for use in a surgical, therapeutic or diagnostic method (see G‑II, 4.2, and G‑VI, 7.1).

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