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Date Published

Reasons of economy dictate that the examiner use appropriate judgment to end the search when the probability of discovering further relevant prior art becomes very low in relation to the effort needed. The international search may also be stopped when one or more documents have been found clearly demonstrating lack of novelty in the entire subject matter to which the claims are directed or to which they might reasonably be expected to be directed, apart from features the application of which would not involve an inventive step and which are instantly and unquestionably demonstrable as being well known in the field under consideration such that documentary evidence seems to be unnecessary [PCT/GL/ISPE/8 at para 15.61].  However, the search should not be stopped if the document that has been found is from the same applicant/inventor and the filing date of that document is within 12 months of the filing date of the invention being searched (see also Cessation of the Search).

Note that while no special search should be made for features that are so well-known that documentary evidence seems unnecessary; if, however, a handbook or other document showing that a feature is generally known can be found rapidly, it should be cited. [PCT/GL/ISPE/8 at para 15.28]

See also Search Considerations

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