Examination Support Document Law and Legal Definition

An examination support document is a document submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by an applicant (inventor) for U.S. patent. An examination support document must inlcude the following:

1.A statement that a prior art search was done including the fields of search and search logic;

2.A listing of the references deemed most closely related to the claims pending in the patent application;

3.An identification in each reference of all of the limitations in each claim found in the said reference.

4.A detailed explanation pointing out how each independent claim is allowable over the prior art;

Examination support documents are required for patent applications that have more than five independent claims or more than 25 dependent claims. Under the doctrine of inequitable conduct, statements made in an examination support document can potentially be used to invalidate a patent later on as in a litigation proceeding.