Unity of invention

An application for a patent should relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept.

A group of inventions forms a single general inventive concept if there exists between or among those inventions a technical relationship that involves one or more of the same or corresponding special technical features. “special technical features” means those technical features that define a contribution that each of the claimed inventions, considered as a whole, makes over the prior art.

If the application does not relate to one invention, the applicant will be required to restrict or divide the application into two or more applications, depending on the number of inventions contained in the initial application. A request for division of an application should be in Form IP 5.

If an application is divided

  1. the filing date for each divisional application shall be the filing date of the initial application;
  2. any declaration of priority in the initial application shall be deemed to be included in each divisional application; and
  3. the applicant will be required to pay the application fee and any other fees payable in respect of the additional applications resulting from the division.

See also

Examination as to form.

Substantive examination.

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