This revised version of the Guidelines for Examination will apply as from 1 November 2015. Until then, the September 2014 edition of the Guidelines remains valid.

9. Art. 124 and the utilisation scheme

When drafting the search opinion, the examiner should take into consideration any prior art document provided by the applicant under Rule 141(1) or by the office of first filing under Rule 141(2) (see OJ EPO 2011, 62, and OJ EPO 2012, 540), if available at the time of preparing the opinion (see A‑III, 6.12, and B‑IV, 1.3). Requests for information on prior art under Rule 141(3) may be made only when the application has entered the examination phase (see C‑III, 5).

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