Art. 124 and the utilisation scheme

When drafting the search opinion, the search division takes into consideration any prior art document provided by the applicant under Rule 141(1) or by the office of first filing under Rule 141(2) (see OJ EPO 2011, 62, OJ EPO 2012, 540, OJ EPO 2013, 216, OJ EPO 2015, A2, and OJ EPO 2016, A18, OJ EPO 2019, A55, OJ EPO 2019, A38, and OJ EPO 2019, A39), if available at the time of preparing the opinion (see A‑III, 6.12 and B‑IV, 1.3). Requests for information on prior art under Rule 141(3) may be made only when the application has entered the examination phase (see C‑III, 5).

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