A new set of proposed rules were published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2007. The new anti-Markush rules would close down a potential loophole in the soon-to-be-finalized claim limitation rules.
- An intra-claim restriction is proper unless all species share a feature that is substantial and essential for common unity.
- A claim may not incorporate part of the specification by reference unless absolutely necessary.
- Markush alternatives must be substitutable; may not encompass other alternatives; may not be a set of further alternatives; and must not make the claim difficult to construe.
Other upcoming finalized rules:
- Rules limiting continuations are expected to be finally implemented within the next few weeks.
- Rules limiting the number of claims being examined are expected to be finally implemented within the next few weeks.
- Rules requiring more extensive IDS submissions are being reviewed by White House staff and are expected to be finally implemented in early 2008.