3.5 Unity

In a patent system, a single patent should be granted to a single invention only. It means, a single patent should not contain multiple inventions. Therefore, if the claims contain more than one invention, a patent examiner would raise an unity objection to ask the applicant restrict the claimed subject matter to a single invention. In the United States, this is called a restriction requirement.

After receiving a unity objection, an applicant’s options are (1) drop the additional inventions in the claims and file divisional applications for the additional inventions (2) drop the additional inventions in the claims and abandon the additional inventions (3) harmonize the claims to make sure they contain only one invention (4) argue with the examiner and provide explanations why there is one or more  linking inventive features shared by the claims.

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