MPEP 2172.01
Unclaimed Essential Matter

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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2172.01    Unclaimed Essential Matter [R-11.2013]

A claim which omits matter disclosed to be essential to the invention as described in the specification or in other statements of record may be rejected under 35 U.S.C. 112(a) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph, as not enabling. In re Mayhew, 527 F.2d 1229, 188 USPQ 356 (CCPA 1976). See also MPEP § 2164.08(c). Such essential matter may include missing elements, steps or necessary structural cooperative relationships of elements described by the applicant(s) as necessary to practice the invention.

In addition, a claim which fails to interrelate essential elements of the invention as defined by applicant(s) in the specification may be rejected under 35 U.S.C. 112(b) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph, for failure to point out and distinctly claim the invention. See In re Venezia, 530 F.2d 956, 189 USPQ 149 (CCPA 1976); In re Collier, 397 F.2d 1003, 158 USPQ 266 (CCPA 1968). But see Ex parte Nolden, 149 USPQ 378, 380 (Bd. Pat. App. & Inter. 1965) ("[I]t is not essential to a patentable combination that there be interdependency between the elements of the claimed device or that all the elements operate concurrently toward the desired result"); Ex parte Huber, 148 USPQ 447, 448-49 (Bd. Pat. App. & Inter. 1965) (A claim does not necessarily fail to comply with 35 U.S.C. 112, second paragraph where the various elements do not function simultaneously, are not directly functionally related, do not directly intercooperate, and/or serve independent purposes.).