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Guidelines for Examination


1.5 Other information in the communication under Rule 71(3)

An annex to the communication under Rule 71(3) states the Contracting States which have been validly designated, the title of the invention in the three EPO official languages, the international patent classification and the registered name of the applicant.

The communication under Rule 71(3) also states that, where a renewal fee falls due between the notification of this communication and the proposed date of publication of the mention of the grant, publication will be effected only after the renewal fee and any additional fee have been paid (see C‑V, 2).

Where the Examining Division changes its opinion after an earlier negative communication, it will communicate the reasons for this change, unless they are clear from the applicant's reply, from a communication or from the minutes of a telephone conversation.

During the grant procedure an applicant may submit further technical information, for example:

comparative tests
further examples
statements concerning the effects and/or advantages of the invention.

Technical information which extends beyond the content of the application as filed, however, cannot be included in the application by way of amendment (Art. 123(2), H-IV and H-V). Such information is added to the file, which is open to inspection (Art. 128(4)). The existence of such information is indicated on the cover page of the patent specification.

All further documents which were neither cited in the application as filed nor mentioned in the search report but have been cited during the examination procedure are to be indicated, even if they have not been used in an objection concerning novelty or inventive step. This also applies to documents which are cited to show, for instance, a technical prejudice.