World Intellectual Property Organization

Regulations under the PCT

Rule 13
Unity of Invention

13.1       Requirement

The international application shall relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept ("requirement of unity of invention").

13.2       Circumstances in Which the Requirement of Unity of Invention Is to Be Considered Fulfilled

Where a group of inventions is claimed in one and the same international application, the requirement of unity of invention referred to in Rule 13.1 shall be fulfilled only when there is a technical relationship among those inventions involving one or more of the same or corresponding special technical features. The expression "special technical features" shall mean those technical features that define a contribution which each of the claimed inventions, considered as a whole, makes over the prior art.

13.3       Determination of Unity of Invention Not Affected by Manner of Claiming

The determination whether a group of inventions is so linked as to form a single general inventive concept shall be made without regard to whether the inventions are claimed in separate claims or as alternatives within a single claim.

13.4       Dependent Claims

Subject to Rule 13.1, it shall be permitted to include in the same international application a reasonable number of dependent claims, claiming specific forms of the invention claimed in an independent claim, even where the features of any dependent claim could be considered as constituting in themselves an invention.

13.5       Utility Models

Any designated State in which the grant of a utility model is sought on the basis of an international application may, instead of Rules 13.1 to 13.4, apply in respect of the matters regulated in those Rules the provisions of its national law concerning utility models once the processing of the international application has started in that State, provided that the applicant shall be allowed at least two months from the expiration of the time limit applicable under Article 22 to adapt his application to the requirements of the said provisions of the national law.

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