4.13.3
Interpretation of expressions such as "Method for ..." 

In the context of a method, two different types of stated purpose are possible, namely those that define the application or use of a method, and those that define an effect arising from the steps of the method and are implicit therein (see T 1931/14).

Where the stated purpose defines the specific application of the method, this purpose requires additional steps which are not implied by or inherent in the other remaining steps defined in the claim, and without which the claimed process would not achieve the stated purpose. Hence a method claim that defines a working method which, for example, commences with such words as "Method for remelting galvanic layers", the part "for remelting ..." is not to be understood as meaning that the process is merely suitable for remelting galvanic layers, but rather as a functional feature concerning the remelting of galvanic layers and, hence, defining one of the method steps of the claimed working method (see T 1931/14 and T 848/93).

Analogously, in the case of a "method of manufacture", i.e. a claim directed to a method for manufacturing a product, the fact that the method results in the product is to be treated as an integral method step (see T 268/13).

On the other hand, where the purpose merely states a technical effect which inevitably arises when carrying out the other remaining steps of the claimed method and is thus inherent in those steps, this technical effect has no limiting effect on the subject-matter of the claim. For example, a method claim concerning the application of a particular surface active agent to a specified absorbent product and defining its purpose as "for reducing malodor" in terms of an intended technical effect is anticipated by a prior-art document describing a method having such suitability "for reducing malodor" although not mentioning the specific use (see T 1931/14 and T 304/08).

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