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Novelty

Prior art under Section 14(3)

3.74 Section 14(3) also provides for Singapore applications that were not published at the priority date of the application to be taken into account for the purpose of determining novelty:

The state of the art in the case of an invention to which an application for a patent or a patent relates shall be taken also to comprise matter contained in an application for another patent which was published on or after the priority date of that invention, if the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) that matter was contained in the application for that other patent both as filed and as published; and

(b) the priority date of that matter is earlier than that of the invention.

3.75 The usual requirements for anticipation are required: namely the citation must constitute a disclosure of the invention, and must be enabling. Prior art according to Section 14(3) cannot be taken into account for assessing obviousness.

3.76 It is a requirement that the relevant document is an application under the Singapore Patents Act. This means that if the disclosure is in a PCT application, then that application must have entered the Singapore national phase in order for it to be taken into account under Section 14(3). Once the prior application has entered the Singapore national phase, the subsequent fate of the application (whether it has been withdrawn, lapsed, etc.) is not a relevant consideration and the document remains citable prior art.

3.77 In the event that a PCT application is cited in a search report as a P,X or E category citation and it has been considered that the said PCT application may be relevant to the opinion for novelty under Section 14(3), the IPOS IP2SG site (“IP2SG”) may be consulted in order to confirm whether the application has entered the national phase in Singapore. In the event that the period for the citation to enter the national phase in Singapore has yet to expire (30 months from earliest priority), the Examiner should warn the applicant that it may become relevant under Section 14(3) if it later enters the national phase in Singapore and reserve further comment.

3.78 Only matter that was present both in the specification as filed and as published forms part of the state of the art under Section 14(3).