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Disclosure of the invention

Reference to prior art

5.130 The description may refer to another document to provide additional background material or further information about the invention, often as an “incorporation by reference”. Generally, such references will only be an issue where the information disclosed in these documents is essential for a clear and complete disclosure of the invention.

5.131 While prior art may be cited to assist with an understanding of the invention, there is no requirement under the Singapore law that the specification must give details of such documents. Thus, no objection should be raised that prior art cited in, for example, a search report has not been included in the specification.

5.132 However, the specification must be sufficient at its date of filing, and any references given in the description should have been published by the date of filing (Halliburton Energy Services Inc v Smith International (North Sea) Ltd [2006] RPC 2). If a reference is unpublished at the time of filing, and the information contained in said reference is necessary for a person skilled in the art to carry out the invention, then the specification may be insufficient. Amendment to incorporate such matter is likely to constitute added matter (see sub-section ii of Section J in Chapter 7).