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Date Published

In the first instance, examiners may use a single standard textbook or another similarly authoritative publication, or a number of patent specifications, published before the relevant priority date as a basis for asserting that certain information is common general knowledge.

Depending on the art and the issues involved, examiners may be convinced by short submissions from the applicant that a feature was not common general knowledge. Otherwise, the applicant may need to provide more substantial arguments or evidence to tip the balance in their favour. Where examiners have a reasonable basis on which to conclude that a piece of information is common general knowledge, the burden of proof shifts to the applicant to satisfy examiners otherwise.

Examiners are to consider arguments that a piece of information is not common general knowledge based on their merits and should apply balance of probability considerations (see Balance of Probabilities).

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