7.014. May the International Searching Authority refuse to search international applications which are unclear or have other defects? If the International Searching Authority considers that the description, the claims or the drawings fail to comply with the prescribed requirements to such an extent that a meaningful search cannot be carried out, it may declare that it will not establish a search report (such a declaration may also be made in respect of some of the claims only). This may in particular occur where the description or the claims are unclear. The lack of an international search report does not, of itself, have any influence on the validity of the international application, the processing of which, including its communication to the designated Offices, continues. Where only some of the claims are found to be “unsearchable,” the International Searching Authority will not search them but will search the rest of the international application. The same may apply in the case of multiple dependent claims which do not comply with the manner of drafting provided for in the second and third sentences of Rule 6.4(a) (see paragraph 5.113).
Date retrieved: 24 November 2017