These Guidelines are intended to cover normal occurrences. They should therefore be considered only as general instructions. The application of these Guidelines to individual international patent applications is the responsibility of the formalities and examining staff and they may have to go beyond these instructions in exceptional cases. Nevertheless, as a general rule, parties can expect the EPO in its capacity as RO, (S)ISA or IPEA to act in accordance with these Guidelines until such time as they – or the relevant legal provisions – are amended. Notices concerning such amendments are published in the Official Journal of the EPO and on the EPO website. It should also be noted that these Guidelines do not constitute legal provisions.