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Date Published

Note: The information in this part only applies to:

  • standard patent applications with an examination request filed on or after 15 April 2013.
  • innovation patents with an examination request filed on or after 15 April 2013.
  • innovation patents where the Commissioner had not decided before 15 April 2013 to examine the patent.  

For all other standard patent applications/innovation patents, see Enabling Disclosures.

The disclosure of a complete specification will not be clear enough if it is so fundamentally deficient that a person skilled in the art, having read the specification, could not understand how to perform the claimed invention.  In these circumstances, it is also unlikely that a reasonable search could be conducted of the invention defined in the claims.

Examiners should only object to the clarity of the disclosure if they become aware of a deficiency during examination.  Examiners are not expected to proof-read the specification to identify less fundamental deficiencies in the clarity of the disclosure, such as those detailed below.

No objection should be taken under sec 40(2)(a) merely because it is possible to describe an invention more clearly.

A specification should not contain superfluous or irrelevant matter.  Complicated mathematical calculations and analyses are undesirable, unless they are necessary for a full understanding of the invention.  However, only in the most extreme cases should the applicant be requested to shorten an inordinately long specification.  

The description should not contain passages which confuse the scope of the invention.  However, phrases such as “the invention should be taken to include any modifications, whether novel or not” do not provide a meaningful disclosure of any subject matter and should be construed as such.  

Where parts of the description or particular drawings, graphics or photographs do not exemplify the invention claimed, e.g. where they are included as explanation of the invention, as comparative examples, or where they relate to prior art, this should be clearly indicated.

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