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Note: The information in this part only applies to standard patent applications with an examination request filed before 15 April 2013.  For standard patent applications with an examination request filed on or after 15 April 2013, the requirement that the prior art information be ascertained, understood and regarded as relevant by the person skilled in the art does not apply.

A general test that has been used to establish relevance is:

"The test in my judgement is whether it can be expected that the skilled man will be likely to recognize the document in question as being particularly pertinent to, though it may not specifically solve the problem before him."

Beecham Groups Limited's (Amoxycillin) Application [1980] RPC 261 at page 282.

Where there are multiple documents that could be regarded as relevant, each must be considered individually to determine whether the invention is obvious.  The fact that the skilled addressee is faced with a choice of documents, the selection of any one of which may or may not lead to the claimed invention, is not important.  Provided the invention is obvious in the light of any one of the pieces of prior art information, there will be a lack of inventive step (AstraZeneca AB v Apotex Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 30; 89 ALJR 798 at [113]-[115]).

The following sections consider issues that are pertinent to determining whether the person skilled in the art could be reasonably expected to have regarded a document as relevant to solving the problem.

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