a characterising portion, beginning with the expression "characterised in that" or "characterised by" and specifying the technical features for which, in combination with the features stated under sub-paragraph (a), protection is sought.
Without prejudice to Article 82, a European patent application may contain more than one independent claim in the same category (product, process, apparatus or use) only if the subject-matter of the application involves one of the following:
Any claim which includes all the features of any other claim (dependent claim) shall contain, if possible at the beginning, a reference to the other claim and then state the additional features. A dependent claim directly referring to another dependent claim shall also be admissible. All dependent claims referring back to a single previous claim, and all dependent claims referring back to several previous claims, shall be grouped together to the extent and in the most appropriate way possible.
Except where absolutely necessary, claims shall not rely on references to the description or drawings in specifying the technical features of the invention. In particular, they shall not contain such expressions as "as described in part ... of the description", or "as illustrated in figure ... of the drawings".
Where the European patent application contains drawings including reference signs, the technical features specified in the claims shall preferably be followed by such reference signs relating to these features, placed in parentheses, if the intelligibility of the claim can thereby be increased. These reference signs shall not be construed as limiting the claim.
Date retrieved: 24 November 2017
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EPC Implementing Rules
EPO Guidelines - A Formalities Examination
EPO Guidelines - B Search
EPO Guidelines - C Procedureal Aspects of Substantive Examination
EPO Guidelines - F The European Patent Application
XGL F IV 3.8 Independent claims containing a reference to another claim or to features from a claim of another category
XGL F IV 3.9.1 Cases where all method steps can be fully implemented by generic data processing means
EPO Guidelines - G Patentability
EPO Guidelines - H Amendments and Corrections
EPO PCT GL - F (not assigned)
EPO Guide for Applicants, part II Int. - E Euro-PCT procedure before the EPO as designated or elected Office
Offical Journal of the EPO
XOJ EPO 2009, 533 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 15 October 2009 concerning amendments to the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention (EPC)