Identifying Citations, Multiple Citations

Date Published


1. Where citations are identified from a Foreign Search Report (FSR) or Foreign Examination Report (FER) and the citation details are downloaded to PAMS/DocGen using Open Patent Services (OPS), there is no requirement to check, alter or update either the citation details or format of the citation details as downloaded.  However, where examiners become aware of an error in the data (e.g. transposed numbers, spelling errors in a name etc), they should correct such errors when identified.

2. Citation details downloaded through OPS will automatically populate the source of the citation.

See also FER Retrieval; 2.1 Annex A - Open Patent Services (OPS) FER Process5.19 Citation Manager and Identifying Citations.

The procedures for identifying citations and their source outlined in Identifying Citations should be followed.  In addition, any document previously cited in a FER may be referred to in shortened form, provided that reference is unambiguous.

Where multiple citations are available, examiners need only provide a comprehensive discussion of the “best citation(s)”, or one citation where all citations are of close or equivalent disclosure and there is no “best citation”, and can refer to a representative selection of the other relevant citations in a more general manner (see also Discussion of Citations).

Where there are multiple FERs from which multiple relevant prior art documents have been sourced, and it is considered necessary to cite each of these documents independently due to their differing disclosure and/or relevance to the claims, all of these sources, including relevant passages, should be clearly referenced in the report so that their association with the respective prior art which they discuss is clearly evident.