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Guidelines for Examination


3.13 Technological background

In certain circumstances it may be desirable to extend the subject-matter of the search to include the "technological background" of the invention. This would include:

the preamble to the first claim, i.e. the part preceding the expression "characterised by" or "characterised in that"; 
the state of the art which in the introduction of the description of the application is said to be known, but not identified by specific citations;
the general technological background of the invention (often called "general state of the art").