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Date Published

Where differences between the claimed features and those disclosed in the citation are standard or trivial, examiners need only provide broad reasoning to support an assertion of common general knowledge (e.g. the feature relates merely to well known laboratory methods) without documentary evidence.  Documents to support an assertion of common general knowledge are not required until further report stage and, generally, only when an applicant has challenged the assertion; see also Use of Common General Knowledge and Considerations at Further Reports.

Combining documents should be considered for independent claims if there is a non-trivial difference, e.g. one which relates to the inventive concept, between the claim and the main citation. There needs to be a clear motivation to combine the documents and a reasoned argument provided where appropriate; see also Inventive Step Objections Involving a Combination of Documents.

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