Law - Protest of PCT Holding of Lack of Unity

An international invention must relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept. If, during the international preliminary examination, the Examiner determines that unity of invention is lacking, he/she may examine all the claimed and previously searched inventions or he/she may invite the applicant to restrict the claims or pay additional fees. If the applicant is invited to restrict or pay, the applicant may file a protest of the holding of lack of unity or the amount of additional fee in writing no later than 1 month from the mailing date of the Written Opinion or from the mailing date of the International Preliminary Examination Report, if there was no written Opinion.

The position of the USPTO on this issue is described in the following section(s) of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP):

MPEP 1875.01 - Preparation of Invitation Concerning Unity
MPEP 1875.02 - Response to Invitation Concerning Lack of Unity of Invention
MPEP 1875 - Unity of Invention Before the International Preliminary Examining Authority

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