Welcome to the new version of the Patents Manual. Please note there are changes to the numbering and sequence of the chapters and pages in the manual. You are encouraged to take the time to explore and familiarise yourself with this new structure. Categorising the Citations

Date Published

Search examiners should, whenever practical, perform some level of culling or sorting of full copy documents prior to an in-depth categorising step in order that the documents of highest perceived relevance are considered for categorising first.

Generally a cull/sort would involve a skim of the documents taking only a few minutes for each document. This would identify a coarse rank of relevance of the documents (whether possible X, Y or other category), and eliminate any document whose disclosure is fully embraced by another document.

The publication level (A, A1, A2, B, C etc) should be indicated alongside its number.

Any relevant foreign language document should be considered in the categorising step of the process and not culled from further consideration just because it is not in English.

Note that the objective of the international search is to discover relevant prior art for the purpose of assessing novelty and inventive step. Decisions on novelty and inventive step are the province of the designated Offices. Thus it is essential that the search identify relevant items of prior art for novelty and inventive step purposes. [PCT/GL/ISPE/12 at para 1.03 and 15.09]

Once a document is determined to be of solely A category relevance, no further analysis should be undertaken.

Hence in-depth analysis is only undertaken on documents determined to be of particular relevance for the purpose of assessing novelty and inventive step in accordance with the objective of the international search.

See also Citation Category.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

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