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Responding to Restriction Requirements

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Monday, February 15, 2010 by Jim Ruttler

Restriction requirements by examiners are common. Typically, examiners require election of a group of claims along with a separate requirement to elect species claims within that group. The easiest way to deal with restriction requirements is to comply with the examiner’s request and elect a group and species. However, this can result in having to pursue unelected claims in a separate divisional application as well as eliminating claims that may be important to define over art cited later during examination. Accordingly, one strategy may be to traverse the restriction requirement focusing on the fact that the examiner has not demonstrated why the additional search burden would be unreasonable. Because examiners often just state that there would be a burden without providing specific reasons to support such a statement, it is often possible to reverse the examiner’s position by pointing this out.

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