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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
1.1. Relevant point in time

An application with the same filing or priority date as the application to be examined is not part of the state of the art (see T 123/82).

According to the boards' established case law, the prior art's content is to be interpreted in the manner in which it would have been understood by the skilled person at the time it was made available. In particular, for ascertaining the disclosure of a document forming part of the state of the art within the meaning of Art. 54(2) EPC 1973, the relevant date is that of publication. Interpreting a document using knowledge which only became available to the relevant experts between the publication date of the cited prior art and the filing or priority date of the application to be examined or the patent in dispute is an issue relating to inventive-step, not novelty (see T 205/91, T 965/92, T 590/94). In T 74/90 the board did, however, consider how a skilled person would have understood a citation on the filing date of the patent in suit.