When amending the specification, the scope of the claims, or the drawings, the amendments must be within the scope described in the claims or drawings. Amendments that include contents that exceed the scope of the elements initially described in the specification of the application (in other words, new matter), are not allowed.
Matter initially described in the specification includes not only matter clearly described, but also matter that is obvious, but is not explicitly described. When an amendment is stated to be clearly described in the initial specification, a person skilled in the art at the time of the application would clearly understand the meaning without an explicit description in the initial specification, and understand it in the same way as if the matter had been described.
Even for commonly known or conventional technology, amendments that add new matter that are not allowed simply because the technology itself is commonly known or is conventional technology. What can be amended is when matter is obvious from the description in the initial specification.
In other words, it is necessary for a person skilled in the art who reads the initial specification to be able to understand it in the same way as though the matter was described. For example, the specification does not disclose a particular elastic support member, but an apparatus providing an elastic support member is described.
If a person skilled in the art could, by viewing the description of the drawings or with technical knowledge, understand that an elastic support member clearly indicates a helical spring, an amendment to change an elastic support member to a helical spring would be allowed.
Conceptually amending component elements of the claimed invention to be broader leads to adding matter other than that described in the specification. Conceptually amending component elements of the claimed invention to be narrower leads to individualizing elements to other than what was originally described in the specification. Such amendments are not allowed.