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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
4.1.2
Offensive and non-offensive use 

Special attention should be paid to applications in which the invention has both an offensive and a non-offensive use, e.g. a process for breaking open locked safes, the use by a burglar being offensive but the use by a locksmith in the case of emergency non-offensive. In such a case, no objection arises under Art. 53(a). Similarly, if a claimed invention defines a copying machine with features resulting in an improved precision of reproduction and an embodiment of this apparatus could comprise further features (not claimed but apparent to the skilled person) the only purpose of which would be that it should also allow reproduction of security strips in banknotes strikingly similar to those in genuine banknotes, the claimed apparatus would cover an embodiment for producing counterfeit money which could be considered to fall under Art. 53(a). There is, however, no reason to consider the copying machine as claimed to be excluded from patentability, since its improved properties could be used for many acceptable purposes (see G 1/98, Reasons 3.3.3). However, if the application contains an explicit reference to a use which is contrary to "ordre public" or morality, deletion of this reference should be required under the terms of Rule 48(1)(a).