608.01(o) Basis for Claim Terminology in Description [R-07.2015]
The meaning of every term used in any of the claims should be apparent from the descriptive portion of the specification with clear disclosure as to its import; and in mechanical cases, it should be identified in the descriptive portion of the specification by reference to the drawing, designating the part or parts therein to which the term applies. A term used in the claims may be given a special meaning in the description. See MPEP § 2111.01 and § 2173.05(a).
Usually the terminology of the claims present on the filing date of the application follows the nomenclature of the specification, but sometimes in amending the claims or in adding new claims, new terms are introduced that do not appear in the specification. The use of a confusing variety of terms for the same thing should not be permitted.
New claims, including claims first presented after the application filing date where no claims were submitted on filing, and amendments to the claims already in the application should be scrutinized not only for new matter but also for new terminology. While an applicant is not limited to the nomenclature used in the application as filed, he or she should make appropriate amendment of the specification whenever this nomenclature is departed from by amendment of the claims so as to have clear support or antecedent basis in the specification for the new terms appearing in the claims. This is necessary in order to insure certainty in construing the claims in the light of the specification. See 37 CFR 1.75, MPEP § 608.01(i) and § 1302.01 and § 2103. Note that examiners should ensure that the terms and phrases used in claims presented late in prosecution of the application (including claims amended via an examiner’s amendment) find clear support or antecedent basis in the description so that the meaning of the terms in the claims may be ascertainable by reference to the description, see 37 CFR 1.75(d)(1). If the examiner determines that the claims presented late in prosecution do not comply with 37 CFR 1.75(d)(1), applicant will be required to make appropriate amendment to the description to provide clear support or antecedent basis for the terms appearing in the claims provided no new matter is introduced.
The specification should be objected to if it does not provide proper antecedent basis for the claims by using form paragraph 7.44.