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All-optical packet switching designs have evolved in the last years. However, all-optical packet forwarding functionalities are still limited. Several label assignation methods have been studied in order to efficiently use the small label space of the designs. In this paper, we present a novel scheme for label switched path protection for networks with small label spaces, such as all-optical packet switching technologies based on all-optical label swapping. With the purpose of using as fewest labels as possible, the scheme has as basis using the same working paths as backup paths. The scheme is named self-protection. Properties and requirements of the schemes in mention are given in this paper. A brief analysis of the trade-off of the scheme is also provided.