7.013. May the International Searching Authority refuse to search certain subject matter? The International Searching Authority is not required to perform an international search on claims which relate to any of the following subject matter: (i) scientific and mathematical theories, (ii) plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals, other than microbiological processes and the products of such processes, (iii) schemes, rules or methods of doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games, (iv) methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods, (v) mere presentation of information, and (vi) computer programs to the extent that the Authority is not equipped to search prior art concerning such programs. However, certain International Searching Authorities do, in practice, search these fields to varying extents – for example, several International Searching Authorities search subject matter which is normally searched under the national (or regional) procedure (for details, see Annex D). In addition, the International Searching Authority is not required to search the international application, to the extent that a meaningful search cannot be carried out, in certain cases where a nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence listing is not furnished in accordance with the prescribed standard or in an electronic form (see paragraphs 7.005 to 7.012). If the International Searching Authority is not required to search any of the claims, it may declare that it will not establish an international search report. It should, nevertheless, be noted that the lack of an international search report in such a case does not, in itself, have any influence on the validity of the international application, the processing of which, including its communication to the designated Offices, continues. In respect of the possibility for the International Searching Authority to limit its competence, see paragraph 7.002.
Date retrieved: 02 November 2015