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Date Published

Note: The information in this part only applies to:

  • standard patent applications with an examination request filed before 15 April 2013.  
  • innovation patents with an examination request filed before 15 April 2013.
  • innovation patents where the Commissioner decided before 15 April 2013 to examine the patent.

For all other standard patent applications/innovation patents, see Section 40 Enabling Disclosures (‘Discrete Methods or Products Must be Individually Enabled’).

Where there are several aspects to the invention that are claimed in different claims, it is necessary to fully describe each aspect, such that each claim is supported by an enabling disclosure. However, where one aspect is analogous to another aspect which has been fully described, less detail will be required. Similarly, if it is evident from the common knowledge in the art how to work an aspect of the invention, then less detail is required.

Vidal Dyes Syndicate Ld v Levinstein Ld (1912) 29 RPC 245 at 265-6 provides an example of an invention where one aspect of the invention was not analogous to the other aspects, and there was no common knowledge in relation to that aspect. The Court disregarded the description of the other aspects in assessing whether the particular aspect was fully described. Consequently, the specification was not fully described in so far as it claimed the particular aspect. However, examiners should be careful in applying this approach. The fact that the aspect was not analogous was established by the evidence of experts and was not apparent from the specification.

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