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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
3.
Person skilled in the art 

The "person skilled in the art" should be presumed to be a skilled practitioner in the relevant field of technology, who is possessed of average knowledge and ability and is aware of what was common general knowledge in the art at the relevant date (see T 4/98, T 143/94 and T 426/88). He should also be presumed to have had access to everything in the "state of the art", in particular the documents cited in the search report, and to have had at his disposal the means and capacity for routine work and experimentation which are normal for the field of technology in question. If the problem prompts the person skilled in the art to seek its solution in another technical field, the specialist in that field is the person qualified to solve the problem. The skilled person is involved in constant development in his technical field (see T 774/89 and T 817/95). He may be expected to look for suggestions in neighbouring and general technical fields (see T 176/84 and T 195/84) or even in remote technical fields, if prompted to do so (see T 560/89). Assessment of whether the solution involves an inventive step must therefore be based on that specialist's knowledge and ability (see T 32/81). There may be instances where it is more appropriate to think in terms of a group of persons, e.g. a research or production team, rather than a single person (see T 164/92 and T 986/96). It should be borne in mind that the skilled person has the same level of skill for assessing inventive step and sufficient disclosure (see T 60/89, T 694/92 and T 373/94).