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.

7. Lack of unity "a priori" or "a posteriori"

Lack of unity may be directly evident a priori, i.e. before considering the claims in relation to the prior art, or may only become apparent a posteriori, i.e. after taking the prior art into consideration - e.g. a document within the state of the art as defined in Art. 54(2) shows that there is lack of novelty or inventive step in an independent claim, thus leaving two or more dependent claims without a common inventive concept (see F‑V, 9). In this respect, documents cited under Art. 54(3) should be disregarded in the evaluation of unity of invention, since they cannot anticipate the inventive concept of the application under examination.

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