MPEP 705.01(e)
Limitation as to Use

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

Previous: §705.01(d) | Next: §705.01(f)

705.01(e)    Limitation as to Use [R-07.2015]

The above outlined Patentability Report practice is not obligatory and should be resorted to only where it will save total examiner time or result in improved quality of action due to specialized knowledge. A saving of total examiner time that is required to give a complete examination of an application is of primary importance. Patentability Report practice is based on the proposition that when plural, indivisible inventions are claimed, in some instances either less time is required for examination, or the results are of better quality, when specialists on each character of the claimed invention treat the claims directed to their specialty. However, in many instances a single examiner can give a complete examination of as good quality on all claims, and in less total examiner time than would be consumed by the use of the Patentability Report practice.

Where claims are directed to the same character of invention but differ in scope only, prosecution by Patentability Report is never proper.

Exemplary situation where Patentability Reports are ordinarily not proper are as follows:

  • (A) Where the claims are related as a manufacturing process and a product defined by the process of manufacture. The examiner having jurisdiction of the process can usually give a complete, adequate examination in less total examiner time than would be consumed by the use of a Patentability Report.
  • (B) Where the claims are related as product and a process which involves merely the fact that a product having certain characteristics is made. The examiner having jurisdiction of the product can usually make a complete and adequate examination.
  • (C) Where the claims are related as a combination distinguished solely by the characteristics of a subcombination and such subcombination, per se. The examiner having jurisdiction of the subcombination can usually make a complete and adequate examination.

Where it can be shown that a Patentability Report will save total examiner time, one is permitted with the approval of the Director of the Technology Center to which the application is assigned. The "Approved" stamp should be impressed on the memorandum requesting the Patentability Report.