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The term "intermediate" includes both intermediate and starting products that are used to produce the final products. [PCT/GL/ISPE/10 at para 10.18]

Paragraphs 10.28 - 10.33 of the PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines refers to the case of intermediates and final products. See examples 8 to 13.

When considering claims to intermediate and final products two conditions need to be fulfilled for unity of invention to exist:

i. the intermediate and final products have the same essential structural element, in that either:

  • the basic chemical structures of the intermediate and the final products are the same, or
  • the chemical structures of the two products are technically closely interrelated, the intermediate incorporating an essential structural element into the final product.

ii. the intermediate and final products are technically interrelated, this meaning that the final product is manufactured directly from the intermediate or is separated from it by a small number of intermediates all containing the same essential structural element.

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