904.01(a) Variant Embodiments Within Scope of Claim [R-07.2022]

Frequently, a claim includes within its breadth or scope one or more variant embodiments that are not disclosed in the application, but which would anticipate or render obvious the claimed invention if found in a reference. The claim must be so analyzed and any such variant encountered during the search should be recognized.

For any claim capable of such treatment (e.g., a machine or other apparatus), the subject matter as defined by the claim may be sketched or diagrammed in order to clearly delineate the limitations of the claim. Two or more sketches, each of which is as divergent from the disclosure as is permitted by the claim, will assist the examiner in determining the claim’s actual breadth or scope. However, an applicant will not be required to submit such sketches of claim structure. In re Application filed November 16, 1945, 89 USPQ 280, 1951 C.D. 1, 646 O.G. 5 (Comm’r Pat. 1951).