1843.03 No Search Required if Claims Are Unclear [R-08.2012]
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 could not be carried out, it may declare that it will not establish a search report (PCT Article 17(2)(a)(ii) ). Further, for applications having an international filing date on or after January 1, 2004, if the International Searching Authority considers that the description, claims, or drawings are so unclear, or the claims are so inadequately supported by the description that no meaningful opinion can be formed on the novelty, inventive step (non-obviousness), or industrial applicability of the claimed invention, the Authority shall not go into these issues in its written opinion with regard to the claims so affected (PCT Rules 43bis.1(b) and 66.1(e) ). For example, the examiner may determine that a meaningful search cannot be carried out or that no meaningful opinion can be formed in certain cases where a nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence listing is not furnished in accordance with the prescribed standard or in a computer readable form. See Administrative Instructions Section 513(c) and MPEP § 1848. Further, the examiner may determine that a meaningful search cannot be carried out or that no meaningful opinion can be formed for improper multiple dependent claims (see PCT Rule 6.4(a) ).