What does the examination of a patent application entail?
Depending on regional patent legislation, a more or less extensive examination for the patentability of the invention is performed by the patent office where the application is filed. Novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability are assessed. Also it is considered whether the invention is described sufficiently such that it can be repeated and whether the breadth of the claims is justified.
Many patent offices also consider whether the patent application comprises more than one claimed invention. As only one invention can be protected by a patent application, in case it is considered that more than one invention is claimed, a restriction to one of the inventions will be requested. In that case one or more additional “divisional” patent applications can be filed, to obtain protection for the other remaining inventions.