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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

5.5 Non‑prejudicial disclosures

Disclosures of the invention should not be taken into consideration if they occurred no earlier than six months preceding the filing date of the European patent application (see G 3/98 and G 2/99) and if they were due to an evident abuse in relation to the applicant or his legal predecessor, or due to display at an official, or officially recognised, international exhibition. The Search Division should, nevertheless, cite in the search report any documents it has reason to believe come within one of the categories mentioned in B‑X, 9.2.8. In this case too the reference date for the search will be the filing date of the application (see B‑VI, 5.1 and B‑XI, 4). Since the matter of abuse will generally only be raised after transmission of the search report and search opinion (if applicable, see B‑XI, 7), and disclosure at an exhibition involves the question of identity between the displayed and claimed invention, both matters are investigated by the Examining Division.