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While all claims must be clear and definite in scope, the dependent claims do not merit the same careful analysis and criticism as the independent claim(s). The level of attention paid to dependent claims is a matter of judgement on the part of examiners. As a general rule, dependent claims adding core features or characteristics, but not claimed in the independent claim(s), should be looked at more closely than those dependent claims adding clearly preferred features or characteristics.

Where a claim is considered to lack clarity, it is not sufficient to merely object that the claim is not clear. The objection will generally need to explain the problems with the meaning of words or phrases, or with determining the scope of the claim.

See also 2.11.5 Claims are Clear.

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