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Guidelines for Examination


7.5.6 Technical details and general remarks

When printing a web page, care should be taken that the complete URL is clearly legible. The same applies to the relevant publication date on a web page.

It should be borne in mind that publication dates may be given in different formats, especially in either the European format dd/mm/yyyy, the US format mm/dd/yyyy or the ISO format yyyy/mm/dd. Unless the format is explicitly indicated, it will be impossible to distinguish between the European format and the US format for days 1-12 of each month.

If a publication date is close to the relevant priority date, the time zone of publication may be crucial to interpret a publication date.

The examiner should always indicate the date on which the web page was retrieved. When citing internet disclosures, he should explain the prior art status of the document, e.g. how and where he obtained the publication date (for example, that the eight digits in the URL represent the date of archiving in the format yyyymmdd), and any other relevant information (for example, where two or more related documents are cited, how they are related, indicating for instance that following link 'xyz' on the first document leads to the second document).