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Unity of Invention

ICT examples

6.76 Example 1:

Consider the following claims:

1.Transmitter provided with time axis expander for video signals.
2.Receiver provided with time axis compressor for video signals received.
3.Transmission equipment for video signals comprising a transmitter provided with time axis expander for video signals and a receiver provided with time axis compressor for video signals received.

Here the special technical features are: in claim 1 the time axis expander, and in Claim 2 the time axis compressor, which are corresponding special technical features. Unity exists between Claims 1 and 2. Claim 3 includes both special technical features and has unity with Claims 1 and 2. The problem to be solved by these inventions is common, which lies in enabling transmission of video signals through a narrow frequency band.

However, if the transmitter and a receiver were merely suitable for the defined purpose then they may be regarded as separate inventions (for example had the claims defined “transmitter/receiver for use with a time axis expander for video signals”). Nevertheless, in such cases the objection may relate to novelty (if such transmitters and receivers are known in the art and the claim does not define that they are specially adapted for the particular use), and a simple amendment may be possible to restore unity.

6.77 Example 2:

Consider the following claims:

1. Control circuit A for a d.c. motor.
2. Control circuit B for a d.c. motor.
3. An apparatus including a d.c. motor with control circuit A.
4. An apparatus including a d.c. motor with control circuit B.

Control circuit A is a special technical feature and control circuit B is another unrelated special technical feature. Unity exists between Claims 1 and 3  orbetween Claims 2 and 4, but not between Claims 1 and 2 or 3 and 4.