If the examiner considers that the application satisfies the requirements of the EPC and is thus in order to proceed to grant, he should make a brief written report (the "votum"). As a general rule, it will be appropriate in this report for the examiner to give the reasons why, in his opinion, the subject-matter as claimed in the application is not obvious having regard to the state of the art. He should normally comment on the document reflecting the nearest prior art and the features of the claimed invention which make it patentable, although there may be exceptional circumstances where this is not necessary, e.g. where patentability is based on a surprising effect. He should also indicate how any apparently obscure but important points have ultimately been clarified, and if there are any borderline questions which the examiner has resolved in favour of the applicant he should draw attention specifically to these.
Date retrieved: 30 December 2018