by Mel R. Quintos
A multiple dependent claim is defined in 35 U.S.C. §112, which reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
[a] claim in multiple dependent form shall contain a reference, in the alternative only, to more than one claim previously set forth and then specify a further limitation on the subject matter claimed. A multiple dependent claim shall not serve as a basis for any other multiple dependent claim. A multiple dependent claim shall be construed to incorporate by reference all the limitations of the particular claim in relation to which it is being considered.
Generally, when a U.S. practitioner writes a multiple dependent claim, which refers back in the alternative to more than one preceding dependent or independent claim, certain wording, established by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, must be used. The following are examples of what is acceptable or unacceptable multiple dependent claim wording as set forth in The Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (M.P.E.P.) §608.01(n):—click here to read more—