MPEP Q & A 205: Meaning of Claims Limited to Species

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Question:

What is the meaning of claims limited to species?

Answer:

Claims are definitions or descriptions of inventions. Claims themselves are never species. The scope of a claim may be limited to a single disclosed embodiment (i.e., a single species, and thus be designated a specific species claim). Alternatively, a claim may encompass two or more of the disclosed embodiments (and thus be designated a generic or genus claim).

Species always refer to the different embodiments of the invention. Species may be either independent or related as disclosed.

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 08.2017. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may or may not be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 806.04(e) of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 806.04(e).

806.04(e) Claims Limited to Species

Claims are definitions or descriptions of inventions. Claims themselves are never species. The scope of a claim may be limited to a single disclosed embodiment (i.e., a single species, and thus be designated a specific species claim). Alternatively, a claim may encompass two or more of the disclosed embodiments (and thus be designated a generic or genus claim).
Species always refer to the different embodiments of the invention. Species may be either independent or related as disclosed.