MPEP Section 2173.05(f), Reference to Limitations in Another Claim
This document contains one section of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (the "M.P.E.P."), Eighth Edition, Fifth Revision (August 2006). This page was last updated in July 2007. You may return to the section index to find a particular section. Alternatively, you may search the MPEP use the search box that appears on the bottom of every page of BitLaw--be sure to restrict your search to the MPEP in the pop-up list.
2173.05(f) Reference to Limitations in Another Claim
A claim which makes reference to a preceding claim to define a limitation is an acceptable claim construction which should not necessarily be rejected as improper or confusing under 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph. For example, claims which read: "The product produced by the method of claim 1." or "A method of producing ethanol comprising contacting amylose with the culture of claim 1 under the following conditions ....." are not indefinite under 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph, merely because of the reference to another claim. See also Ex parte Porter, 25 USPQ2d 1144 (Bd. Pat. App. & Inter. 1992) where reference to "the nozzle of claim 7" in a method claim was held to comply with 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph. However, where the format of making reference to limitations recited in another claim results in confusion, then a rejection would be proper under 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph.