In an original draft of a patent application we have, the background contained a reference to a prior art by its patent number and a description of the prior art, and the first drawing is a drawing of the prior art. When the application was submitted, the patent number and the drawing were removed, but a description of the prior art remained.
When I asked the patent agent, she said that the patent examiner would customarily do OA on the prior art, and the omission was done to avoid that.
To me, that sounded ridiculous. The omission makes the background section fairly hard to understand. If the application is ambiguous or hard to comprehend, wouldn't that invite more OAs?
My opinion is that the background section should be short, easy to understand, very clear on the difference between the invention and prior art, and clearly call out the importance (benefits) of that difference.
So, is there any benefit to completely omitting drawing and patent number of prior art?