TLS_215 documentation inconsistency

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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:42 pm

TLS_215 documentation inconsistency

Post by DaHeller » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:37 am

Dear all,

I came across an inconsistency in the documentation of the citation category table (TLS_215). The current data catalogue documentation on the Spring2018 version of PATSTAT ( ... _11_en.pdf) states "Regular used citation categories are: X, Y and A. For example: category "X" is applicable where a document is such that when taken alone, a claimed invention cannot be considered novel or cannot be considered to involve an inventive step" (page 63). To my mind, this contradicts, however, the more detailed description in the DOCDB manual Annex XIV ( ... nuals.html). Here, on page 167 it is specified that category "X" is applicable where a document is "particularly relevant if taken alone". In fact, the description from the data catalogue seems to resemble category "A" as described in the DOCDB manual.

Am I missing something here, or this indeed a small bug? Which of the two definitions is correct then?

Thank you in advance for clarification. (:


Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: TLS_215 documentation inconsistency

Post by EPO / PATSTAT Support » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:03 pm

Dear David,

Actually, I do not see an inconsistency.

In easy terms: If a (set of) claims of a patent application has an citation of category X, then this citation destroys this (set of) claims. The patent application will not be granted unless these claims are removed.
In contrast, the citation category A is “harmless”: the citation refers to some state of the art, but it does not destroy the novelty or inventive step.

For a precise definition, I need to refer you to the EPO Guidelines for Examination which are on the EPO home page. You might look at this subsection ... _x_9_2.htm , which describes the codes for the European Patent system. AFAIK the codes of other offices mean the same, but some offices may have additional codes as well. The most prominent codes most people are familiar with are X, Y and A.

PATSTAT Support Team
EPO - Vienna
patstat @

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