2.8.3 Specialist journals as common general knowledge

In T 475/88 the board's view was that the content of specialist journals, or "standard magazines", like the content of patent specifications did not usually belong to the common general knowledge of the average skilled person because it was not normally part of that person's active knowledge and had to be acquired through a comprehensive search. In T 676/94 the board concluded that the question of whether the contents of a specialist journal formed part of the average knowledge of a skilled person depended on the facts of the case. In T 595/90 (OJ 1994, 695), an article in a specialist journal reporting on the results of a classic test was regarded as common general knowledge.

Numerous publications in the specialist press over a fairly short time, reporting on meetings and research in a particularly active field of technology, could reflect common general knowledge in this field at that time (T 537/90). The board in T 26/13 observed that, although articles appearing in specialist journals were not, strictly speaking, part of the common general knowledge, the skilled person did read them for their own person development and so, taken together, they could permit inferences as to what that knowledge covered. See also T 2196/15, in which, by way of exception, a scientific article was taken into account.

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