Assume you have a system or method claim like the following:
- A system/method comprising A, B and C.
Is it valid to equate two or more elements in a dependent claim like so?:
- The system/method of claim 1, wherein B is C.
Or must one use additional independent claims to cover these embodiments?:
- A system/method comprising A and B.
The reason I would like to do so is to cover the case where one element can serve two functions. Asking with regard to USPTO, but EPO replies also welcome. Thanks
Edit: To provide more clarification on the situation I'm imagining, consider a handheld radio with a body (comprised of electronics/speakers), an antenna, and a handle. Then what I am asking is, if the antenna serves as the handle (e.g. a loop antenna, even though that may not be advisable as a design choice), is there a way a dependent claim could consolidate those latter two elements into one: "wherein the antenna is the handle"? The point is that two functions are served by the same element.