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Date Published

The basic level of disclosure required to anticipate a claim to a selection is the same as for any other claim. The law of selection operates to exclude an objection of lack of novelty in those circumstances where classes of compounds or items disclosed in a citation have not been made and consequently their properties are not known.


  • if the citation does not provide an enabling disclosure, there is no anticipation; and
  • if any of the selected compounds have actually been made previously, a claim to that selection lacks novelty (I.G. Farbenindustrie AG's Patents (1930) 47 RPC 289).  

If a claim is a valid selection, it will be novel over the relevant prior art. However, the mere fact that it is a selection does not render the claim inventive.  Examiners must still consider whether there is an inventive step in making the selection (see 2.5 Inventive Step).

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