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Clarity and conciseness of claims (Section 25(5)(b))

Multiple alternatives

5.70 The term “and/or” is not always objectionable. The phrase “A and/or B” can mean three things: A, B or A+B. As long as each of these conditions is acceptable and the scope of the claim remains clear, then the claim is allowable.

5.71 However, if the term appears twice in a claim, such as (A and/or B) and (X and/or Y), there are 9 different conditions that must be verified, and the task becomes more onerous and other issues such as clarity, unity and support may arise. Generally, overuse of the term may call for an objection on the ground that the scope of the claims for which protection is being sought is unclear. This will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the number of potential alternatives defined. 5.72 More substantive clarity issues arise where there are internal inconsistencies between the claims.

5.72 More substantive clarity issues arise where there are internal inconsistencies between the claims.