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The same principles and guidelines should be applied to biotechnological inventions relating to multiple nucleic acid or peptide sequences.  In particular, paragraphs 10.34, 10.43, 10.50, and 10.55 to 10.59 of the PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines provide examples of practice where applications claim multiple nucleic acid or peptide sequences.

Examiners should note that the mere presence of multiple sequences is not sufficient to establish that unity of invention is lacking.

Applications claiming multiple nucleic acid or peptide sequences must be assessed to determine whether or not a special technical feature exists, which some, or all of the claimed sequences share.  While there will be circumstances in which unity of invention will be lacking, equally there will be circumstances in which multiple sequences will be a single invention.

Examiners should also be aware of the potential applicability of Markush practice to applications claiming sequences and should ensure that this approach is taken into account when assessing unity in such cases.

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