7.003. What is the purpose of the international search? The purpose of the international search is to discover relevant prior art. “Prior art” consists of everything which has been made available to the public anywhere in the world by means of written disclosure (including drawings and other illustrations); it is “relevant” in respect of the international application if it can help determine whether or not the claimed invention is new, whether or not it involves an inventive step (in other words, whether it is or is not obvious), and whether the making available to the public occurred prior to the international filing date (for further details, see Rule 33). The international search is made on the basis of the claims, with due regard to the description and the drawings (if any) contained in the international application. The results of the international search are set out in the international search report (see paragraphs 7.023 to 7.026).
Date retrieved: 02 November 2015