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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

7.5 Internet disclosures

As a matter of principle, disclosures on the internet form part of the state of the art according to Art. 54(2). Information disclosed on the internet or in online databases is considered to be publicly available as of the date the information was publicly posted. Internet websites often contain highly relevant technical information. Certain information may even be available only on the internet from such websites. This includes, for example, online manuals and tutorials for software products (such as video games) or other products with a short life cycle. Hence for the sake of a valid patent it is often crucial to cite publications only obtainable from such internet websites.