3.3. The concept of "the public"

The boards considered the concept of "the public" in several decisions. According to their case law, information is generally to be regarded as having been made public if even just one single member of the public is in a position to gain access to it and understand it, and if there is no obligation to maintain secrecy (T 1081/01, T 229/06, T 1510/06, T 1309/07, T 2/09, T 834/09, T 1168/09, T 239/16).

In T 1829/06 the board stated that, according to established jurisprudence, information was considered to be made available to the public even if only one member of the public had access to it and there was no bar of confidentiality restricting the use or dissemination of such information. The fact that this member of the public acted as a straw man or that the opponent itself could have had difficulties in obtaining the article was immaterial.

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