MPEP 806.05(h)
Product and Process of Using

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

Previous: §806.05(g) | Next: §806.05(i)

806.05(h)    Product and Process of Using [R-08.2012]

A product and a process of using the product can be shown to be distinct inventions if either or both of the following can be shown: (A) the process of using as claimed can be practiced with another materially different product; or (B) the product as claimed can be used in a materially different process.

The burden is on the examiner to provide an example, but the example need not be documented.

If the applicant either proves or provides a convincing argument that the alternative use suggested by the examiner cannot be accomplished, the burden is on the examiner to support a viable alternative use or withdraw the requirement.

Form paragraphs 8.20 and 8.21.04 should be used in restriction requirements between the product and method of using.

¶ 8.20    Product and Process of Using

Inventions [1] and [2] are related as product and process of use. The inventions can be shown to be distinct if either or both of the following can be shown: (1) the process for using the product as claimed can be practiced with another materially different product or (2) the product as claimed can be used in a materially different process of using that product. See MPEP § 806.05(h). In the instant case [3].

Examiner Note:

1. This form paragraph is to be used when claims are presented to both the product and process of using the product (MPEP § 806.05(h). If claims to a process specially adapted for (i.e., not patentably distinct from) making the product are also presented such process of making claims should be grouped with the product invention. See MPEP § 806.05(i).

2. In bracket 3, use one or more of the following reasons:

(a) --the process as claimed can be practiced with another materially different product such as......--,

(b) --the product as claimed can be used in a materially different process such as......--.

3. Conclude the basis for the restriction requirement with form paragraph 8.21.

4. All restriction requirements between a product and a process of using the product should be followed by form paragraph 8.21.04 to notify the applicant that if a product claim is found allowable, process claims that depend from or otherwise require all the limitations of the patentable product may be rejoined.

¶ 8.21.04    Notice of Potential Rejoinder of Process Claims

The examiner has required restriction between product and process claims. Where applicant elects claims directed to the product/apparatus, and all product/apparatus claims are subsequently found allowable, withdrawn process claims that include all the limitations of the allowable product/apparatus claims should be considered for rejoinder. All claims directed to a nonelected process invention must include all the limitations of an allowable product/apparatus claim for that process invention to be rejoined.

In the event of rejoinder, the requirement for restriction between the product/apparatus claims and the rejoined process claims will be withdrawn, and the rejoined process claims will be fully examined for patentability in accordance with 37 CFR 1.104. Thus, to be allowable, the rejoined claims must meet all criteria for patentability including the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 101, 102, 103 and 112. Until all claims to the elected product/apparatus are found allowable, an otherwise proper restriction requirement between product/apparatus claims and process claims may be maintained. Withdrawn process claims that are not commensurate in scope with an allowable product/apparatus claim will not be rejoined. See MPEP § 821.04. Additionally, in order for rejoinder to occur, applicant is advised that the process claims should be amended during prosecution to require the limitations of the product/apparatus claims. Failure to do so may result in no rejoinder. Further, note that the prohibition against double patenting rejections of 35 U.S.C. 121 does not apply where the restriction requirement is withdrawn by the examiner before the patent issues. See MPEP § 804.01.

Examiner Note:

This form paragraph should appear at the end of any requirement for restriction between a process and a product/apparatus for practicing the process (see form paragraph 8.17), a product/apparatus and a process of making the product/apparatus (see form paragraph 8.18) or between a product/apparatus and a process of using the product/apparatus (see form paragraph 8.20). See MPEP § 821.04 for rejoinder practice.