4. Determining the content of the relevant prior art

After establishing what information forms part of the state of the art, the next step is to determine its technical content and whether that content is apparent.

The consistent view in the case law is that for an invention to lack novelty, its subject-matter must be clearly and directly derivable from the prior art (see e.g. T 465/92, OJ 1996, 32; T 511/92) and all its features – not just the essential ones – must be known from the prior art (T 411/98). The disclosure of a publication is determined by what knowledge and understanding can and may be expected of the average skilled person in the technical field in question (T 164/92, OJ 1995, 305, Corr. 387; T 582/93).

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