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PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines


Chapter 20 Amendments

Lack of Support

20.20  Where subject matter is disclosed in a claim of the application as filed, but is not mentioned anywhere in the description, it is permissible to amend the description so that it includes this subject matter as disclosed in that claim. However, consideration would still need to be given as to whether the description as amended provides the required support for the claims. If there is a contradiction or inconsistency between the claims and description, this will have to be resolved by amendment of either the claims or description. In some occasional circumstances, there may be a question of whether the claims provide sufficient disclosure to allow amendment of the description without adding matter that goes beyond the disclosure as filed or to provide full support. An amendment to include a negative limitation to overcome prior art may raise a lack of support issue.

20.21  An amendment to the claims or the addition of a new claim must be supported by the description of the invention as originally filed, and each claim limitation must be explicitly or inherently supported in the originally filed disclosure. Where such an amendment introduces a negative limitation, exclusion, or disclaimer, the amendment should be examined to determine whether it may raise a new matter issue. See the appendix to this chapter for examples. See paragraphs 20.10 et seq. for a discussion of what constitutes matter that goes beyond the description as originally filed.