MPEP 706.03(k)
Duplicate Claims

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

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706.03(k)    Duplicate Claims [R-08.2017]

A dependent claim that does not specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed should be rejected under 35 U.S.C. 112(d). See MPEP § 608.01(n), subsection II.

When two claims in an application comply with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112(d) but are duplicates, or else are so close in content that they both cover the same thing, despite a slight difference in wording, it is proper after allowing one claim to object to the other claim under 37 CFR 1.75 as being a substantial duplicate of the allowed claim. Note however, that court decisions have confirmed applicant’s right to restate (i.e., by plural claiming) the invention in a reasonable number of ways. Indeed, a mere difference in scope between claims has been held to be enough.

Form paragraphs 7.05.05 and 7.05.06 may be used where duplicate claims are present in an application.

¶ 7.05.05    Duplicate Claims, Warning

Applicant is advised that should claim [1] be found allowable, claim [2] will be objected to under 37 CFR 1.75 as being a substantial duplicate thereof. When two claims in an application are duplicates or else are so close in content that they both cover the same thing, despite a slight difference in wording, it is proper after allowing one claim to object to the other as being a substantial duplicate of the allowed claim. See MPEP § 706.03(k).

Examiner Note:

1. Use this form paragraph whenever two claims are found to be substantial duplicates, but they are not allowable. This will give the applicant an opportunity to correct the problem and avoid a later objection.

2. If the claims are allowable, use form paragraph 7.05.06.

3. When a dependent claim does not specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed as required by 35 U.S.C. 112(d), the dependent claim should be rejected using form paragraphs 7.36 and 7.36.01. See MPEP § 608.01(n), subsection II. It is not necessary to also warn of the prohibition against duplicate claims using this form paragraph.

¶ 7.05.06    Duplicate Claims, Objection

Claim [1] objected under 37 CFR 1.75 as being a substantial duplicate of claim [2]. When two claims in an application are duplicates or else are so close in content that they both cover the same thing, despite a slight difference in wording, it is proper after allowing one claim to object to the other as being a substantial duplicate of the allowed claim. See MPEP § 706.03(k).

Examiner Note:

1. If the duplicate claims are not allowable, use form paragraph 7.05.05.

2. When a dependent claim does not specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed as required by 35 U.S.C. 112(d), the dependent claim should be rejected using form paragraphs 7.36 and 7.36.01. See MPEP § 608.01(n), subsection II. It is not necessary to also object to the improper dependent claim using this form paragraph.

See MPEP § 804 for double patenting rejections of inventions not patentable over each other.