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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

3. Evident abuse

Regarding instance G V, 1(i), the disclosure might be made in a published document or in any other way. As a particular instance, the disclosure might be made in a European application of earlier priority date. Thus, for example, a person B who has been told of A's invention in confidence, might himself apply for a patent for this invention. If so, the disclosure resulting from the publication of B's application will not prejudice A's rights provided that A has already made an application, or applies within six months of such publication. In any event, having regard to Art. 61, B may not be entitled to proceed with his application (see G‑VI, 2).

For "evident abuse" to be established, there must be, on the part of the person disclosing the invention, either actual intent to cause harm or actual or constructive knowledge that harm would or could ensue from this disclosure (see T 585/92).