MPEP Q & A 138: When May a Process and Apparatus for its Practice be Shown to be Distinct Inventions?

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Question:

When may a process and apparatus for its practice be shown to be distinct inventions?

Answer:

Process and apparatus for its practice can be shown to be distinct inventions, if either or both of the following can be shown: (A) that the process as claimed can be practiced by another materially different apparatus or by hand; or (B) that the apparatus as claimed can be used to practice another materially different process.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 800 of the MPEP. This chapter covers Restriction in Applications Filed Under 35 U.S.C. 111; Double Patenting.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 806.05(e) of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 806.05(e).

806.05(e) Process and Apparatus for Its Practice

Process and apparatus for its practice can be shown to be distinct inventions, if either or both of the following can be shown: (A) that the process as claimed can be practiced by another materially different apparatus or by hand; or (B) that the apparatus as claimed can be used to practice another materially different process.