- Is it true that third-party applications which are filed earlier but unpublished at the time of filing are not considered prior art for inventive step purposes in the EPO? If so, this is a huge difference from the US, especially for fast-moving technologies.
From EPO examination guidelines:
The state of the art also comprises the content of other European applications filed or validly claiming a priority date earlier than – but published under Art. 93 on or after – the date of filing or valid date of priority of the application being examined. Such earlier applications are part of the state of the art only when considering novelty and not when considering inventive step.
Assuming (1) is true, do the same rules apply in the EPO for non-EPO applications that are earlier-filed, not-yet-published?
(Bonus) Are the other major jurisdictions (JP, CN, KR) in line with the EPO or US on this?