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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

3.1 Preparation of the search report

After completion of the search, the examiner should select from the documents retrieved the ones to be cited in the report. These should always include the most relevant documents (which will be specially characterised in the report, see B‑X, 9.2.1). Less relevant documents should only be cited when they concern aspects or details of the claimed invention not found in the documents already selected for citation. In cases of doubt or borderline cases in relation to novelty or inventive step, the examiner should cite rather more readily in order to give the Examining Division the opportunity to consider the matter more fully (see B‑III, 1.1).

The examiner should not cite more documents than is necessary and therefore, when there are several documents of equal relevance, the search report should not normally cite more than one of them. In any case, the search report is accompanied by an annex drawn up by computer and listing the patent documents which are available and belong to the same patent family. In selecting from these documents for citation, the examiner should pay regard to language convenience, and preferably cite (or at least note) documents in the language of the application (see B‑X, 9.1.2).