World Intellectual Property Organization

Regulations under the PCT

Rule 6
The Claims

6.1       Number and Numbering of Claims

(a)  The number of the claims shall be reasonable in consideration of the nature of the invention claimed.

(b)  If there are several claims, they shall be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.

(c)  The method of numbering in the case of the amendment of claims shall be governed by the Administrative Instructions.

6.2       References to Other Parts of the International Application

(a)  Claims shall not, except where absolutely necessary, rely, in respect of the technical features of the invention, on references to the description or drawings. In particular, they shall not rely on such references as: "as described in part ... of the description," or "as illustrated in figure ... of the drawings."

(b)  Where the international application contains drawings, the technical features mentioned in the claims shall preferably be followed by the reference signs relating to such features. When used, the reference signs shall preferably be placed between parentheses. If inclusion of reference signs does not particularly facilitate quicker understanding of a claim, it should not be made. Reference signs may be removed by a designated Office for the purposes of publication by such Office.

6.3       Manner of Claiming

(a)  The definition of the matter for which protection is sought shall be in terms of the technical features of the invention.

(b)  Whenever appropriate, claims shall contain:

(i)  a statement indicating those technical features of the invention which are necessary for the definition of the claimed subject matter but which, in combination, are part of the prior art,

(ii)  a characterizing portion-preceded by the words "characterized in that," "characterized by," "wherein the improvement comprises," or any other words to the same effect-stating concisely the technical features which, in combination with the features stated under (i), it is desired to protect.

(c)  Where the national law of the designated State does not require the manner of claiming provided for in paragraph (b), failure to use that manner of claiming shall have no effect in that State provided the manner of claiming actually used satisfies the national law of that State.

6.4       Dependent Claims

(a)  Any claim which includes all the features of one or more other claims (claim in dependent form, hereinafter referred to as "dependent claim") shall do so by a reference, if possible at the beginning, to the other claim or claims and shall then state the additional features claimed. Any dependent claim which refers to more than one other claim ("multiple dependent claim") shall refer to such claims in the alternative only. Multiple dependent claims shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claim. Where the national law of the national Office acting as International Searching Authority does not allow multiple dependent claims to be drafted in a manner different from that provided for in the preceding two sentences, failure to use that manner of claiming may result in an indication under Article 17(2)(b) in the international search report. Failure to use the said manner of claiming shall have no effect in a designated State if the manner of claiming actually used satisfies the national law of that State.

(b)  Any dependent claim shall be construed as including all the limitations contained in the claim to which it refers or, if the dependent claim is a multiple dependent claim, all the limitations contained in the particular claim in relation to which it is considered.

(c)  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 practical way possible.

6.5       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 6.1 to 6.4, 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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