PCT AG-IP 5.114 What is meant by the requirement of "unity of invention"?

Article 3(4)(iii)
Rule 13

5.114.   What is meant by the requirement of "unity of invention"?  An international application should be drafted so that the claims relate to only one invention or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept.  This principle is laid down in Article 3(4)(iii) and Rule 13.  Observance of this requirement is checked by neither the receiving Office nor the International Bureau, but it is checked by, and is important to the procedure before, the International Searching Authority (see paragraphs 7.015 to 7.021), the Authority specified for supplementary search (see paragraph 8.044) and the International Preliminary Examining Authority (see paragraph 10.072), and may be relevant in the national phase before the designated and elected Offices.  Since separate searches and examinations are required for distinctly different inventions, additional fees are required if the international search or international preliminary examination is to cover two or more inventions (or groups of inventions linked as just described).  (For how the issue of unity of invention affects the supplementary international search, see paragraph 8.043.)

Source: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/appguide/text.jsp?page=ip05.html

Date retrieved: 24 November 2017

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