Invention unit #8217;

Unity of invention

In order to avoid abuse, INPI requires that each patent application covers only one invention: it is the very concept of the invention unit.

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Chapter 1. Unity of Invention Fault

Section 1.1. Principle

The & #8217; invention unit is provided by the & #8217; article L612-4 CPI.

The patent application can only concern #8217; an invention or a plurality of #8217; inventions linked together so that they only form a single general inventive concept.

The purpose of this requirement is to efficiently classify inventions and prevent the payment of unique Search fee does not allow to obtain a search for 1000 inventions.

This is understandable enough ...

Section 1.2. Appreciation of the unit

Regarding the appreciation of the invention unit, it should be noted that the INPI Directives directly refer to this point in section VI-A 3.

For INPI, in order to verify that the requirement of the invention unit is met, it is necessary to verify the presence of an effective technical link between the claims.

But clearly, the INPI does not give any method to verify the existence of this technical link (manage with that 🙂).

At most, the code (R612-19 CPI) shows us some examples of what is acceptable with regard to the invention unit: #8217;

  • a product, a process for the manufacture of this product, a use of this product;
  • a method, device or means specially designed for carrying out this method;
  • a product, a process specially designed for the manufacture of this product and a device or means specially designed for carrying out this process.

Even worse, INPI Directives confuse the prohibition of claims of the same type and the requirement of #8217; unity of invention (spoiler alert: this is not the same thing otherwise the legislator would not have started the article) R612-17-1 CPI by & #8220;without prejudice to the provisions of L612-4 CPI“).

In short ...

Finally to conclude, if you want a more reasonable approach, I invite you to read l & #8217;invention unit in Europe.

Section 1.3. A priori / a posteriori

Good news, INPI Directives also mention this point in section VI-A 2.

1.3.1. A priori

Non-unity a priori is a detectable non-unit without analyzing the validity of the claims with regard to the state of the art.

Thus, the non-unity a priori appears only between independent claims.

1.3.2. A posteriori

Non-unity a posteriori is a detectable non-unit after having analyzed the validity of the claims with regard to the state of the art.

Thus, if Claim 1 is not new (or inventive), and the dependent claims have non-unitary fallback positions, a non-unity objection will be raised. a posteriori (well, I guess, by modeling on European practice, because INPI Directives very very succinct).

Section 1.4. Result

1.4.1. Division

If a request is not unitary, it should be divided to avoid a rejection (#8217;L612-12 CPI).

So as these texts are written & #8220; with the feet & #8221; (with all due respect, of course), let's have a little fun: what happens if you split a non-unitary request (without paying taxes, for example) but don't change the claims of the non-unitary demand (which therefore remain non-unitary)?

Will you have a deliverance? In my opinion, l & #8217; article L612-12 CPI does not allow a rejection ...

1.4.2. Deletion of certain claims

It would seem logical enough that if we modify the request in order to remove the problem of & #8217; unit of & #8217; invention, the & #8217; INPI does not bother us more & #8230;

Even if I agree enough on the substance, the texts seem to create significant uncertainty & #8230;

Indeed, article L612-4 CPI is in the section & #8220; Filing of requests & #8221; and not & #8220; Application instructions & #8221 ;.

Therefore, this unity requirement appears to be intrinsic at the time of filing. By the way, l & #8217; article L612-12 CPI n & #8217; offers only 1 correction path: the division.

Colleagues m & #8217; then pointed to the article R612-48 CPI : this article provides for a limitation of claims to avoid rejection.

Admittedly, this is verbatim provided for in the article. R612-48 CPI but the latter article is a regulatory article while the article #8217; L612-12 CPI is of a higher hierarchical level.

You will understand: this discussion is above all philosophical. In practice, if you change your claims to make them unitary, you won't have a problem, huh?

Chapter 2. Prohibition of claims of the same type

Section 2.1. Principle

In principle, it is impossible to file several independent claims of the same type (R612-17-1 CPI).

Section 2.2. exceptions

Nevertheless, this same article R612-17-1 CPI provides exceptions: this is possible if the subject of the request relates to:

  • to several products related to each other,
  • to different uses of a product or a device,
  • to alternatives to a particular problem as these alternatives can not be adequately covered by a single claim.

Section 2.3. Sanction

Unless I'm mistaken, this article R612-17-1 CPI , although prescribing a strong ban, cannot form the basis of a rejection decision on the part of INPI.

I do not find any legal basis for this rejection.

It is true that INPI Directives mix this concept with the concept of & #8217; invention unit (as said before). Therefore, it is very likely that they are based on the article #8217; L612-4 CPI to justify a rejection.

This is not very intellectually satisfactory.

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