9.
Errors in prior-art documents 

Errors may exist in prior-art documents.

When a potential error is detected, three situations may arise depending on whether the skilled person, using general knowledge,

(i)
can directly and unambiguously derive from the prior art document that it contains an error and what the only possible correction should be; 
(ii)
can directly and unambiguously derive from the prior art document that it contains an error, but is able to identify more than one possible correction; or 
(iii)
cannot directly and unambiguously derive from the prior art document that an error has occurred. 

When assessing the relevance of a document to patentability,

in case (i), the disclosure is considered to contain the correction;

in case (ii), the disclosure of the passage containing the error is not taken into account;

in case (iii), the literal disclosure is taken into account as is.

For possible errors concerning compound records in online databases, see B‑VI, 6.5. For non-enabling disclosures, see G‑IV, 2.

 

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