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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
9.2.8
Documents cited for other reasons 

Where in the search report any document is cited for reasons (in particular as evidence – see B-VI, 5.6) other than those referred to in the foregoing paragraphs, for example:

(a)
a document which may throw doubt on a priority claim (see B-VI, 5.3);
(b)
a document which establishes the publication date of another citation (see  B-VI, 5.6); or
(c)
a document relevant to the issue of double patenting (see B-IV, 2.3(v), and G-IV, 5.4),; or
(d)
a document setting out the EPO position on matter excluded from search, specifically for computer-implemented inventions and business methods (see B-VIII, 2.2),

such document should be indicated by the letter "L". Brief reasons for citing the document should be given. In the specific case where a search examiner considers no documentary evidence to be necessary for the claimed subject-matter, as it is deemed to be notorious (see B-VIII, 2.2) and cites a document according to paragraph (d) above, the reasoning behind not citing any prior art documents should be given in the search opinion.

The citation of "L" documents of this type need not be linked to any of the claims. However, where the evidence which they provide relates only to certain claims (for example the "L" document cited in the search report may invalidate the priority claim in respect of certain claims only), then the citation of the document should be linked to those claims, in the manner indicated in B-X, 9.3.

References

Art. 117(1)(c)