4.4
General statements, "spirit of the invention", claim-like clauses 

General statements in the description which imply that the extent of protection may be expanded in some vague and not precisely defined way are not allowed. In particular, any statement which refers to the extent of protection being expanded to cover the "spirit of the invention" or "all equivalents" of the claims must be deleted.

Only statements that refer to the extent of protection covering the "scope of the claims" may be allowed.

Analogously, in the case where the claims are directed to a combination of features, any statement that seems to imply that protection is nevertheless sought not only for the combination as a whole but also for individual features or sub-combinations thereof must be deleted.

Finally claim-like clauses must also be deleted prior to grant, since they otherwise may lead to unclarity as to the actual scope of protection.Finally, claim-like clauses must also be deleted or amended to avoid claim-like language prior to grant because:

they are inconsistent with the claimed subject-matter, they lead to unclarity as to the actual scope of protection and hence do not fulfil the requirements of Art. 84 (see F-IV, 4.3(iii));
they only repeat the claimed subject-matter in a very literal manner, they are an irrelevant and unnecessary reduplication and hence do not fulfil the requirements of Rule 48(1)(c) (see F-II, 7.4).

The term "claim-like clauses" means clauses present in the description which use claim language such as "according to the preceding clause", "according to clause 1", "characterised in that", "further comprising", and so on. These claim-like clauses are usually found at the end of the description and/or in the form of numbered paragraphs.

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