In the patent US7292151B2, many claims including independent claims have been cancelled during reexamination. However, patentability of corresponding dependent claims is still confirmed. In this case, how does the novelty of the invention stand? Do the dependent claims alone hold the same strength as the previous of version?
A claim that survived reexamination is stronger afterwards than it was before. By definition, a claim that was originally dependent is narrower than the original independent claim. After reexamination the former dependent claim would be re-written in independent form. In general, the patent would cover a narrower territory, but be somewhat strengthened in that narrowed scope.