GL B III 3.9 Combination of elements in a claim

For claims characterised by a combination of elements (e.g. A, B and C) the search is directed towards the combination. However, when searching sections of the documentation for this purpose, sub-combinations, including the elements individually (e.g. A and B, A and C, B and C, and also A, B and C separately) are searched in those sections at the same time. A search in additional sections of the documentation either for sub-combinations or for individual elements of the combination is only performed if this is still necessary for establishing the novelty of the element in order to assess the inventive step of the combination.

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EPO Guidelines - B Search

EPO PCT GL - B Search