About Intellectual Property IP Training IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars World IP Day WIPO Magazine Raising Awareness Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Enforcement Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO ALERT Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight

PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines


Appendix to Chapter 4

Background Art

A4.05 The International Preliminary Examining Authorities have divergent practices concerning whether it is appropriate to invite the applicant to introduce references to the prior art into the international application. The guidelines below may be relied upon by the Authorities as appropriate.

A4.05[1] The insertion into the statement of prior art of references to documents identified subsequently, for example by the search report, may be appropriate, provided that the amendment would not go beyond the disclosure in the international application as filed. For instance, while the originally filed description of prior art may give the impression that the inventor has developed the invention from a certain point, the cited documents may show that certain stages in, or aspects of, these alleged developments were already known. The examiner may invite the inclusion of a reference to these documents and a brief summary of the relevant contents. Care should be taken that any such inclusion does not contravene Article 34(2)(b) (see paragraphs 20.10 to 20.19).

A4.05[2] Since the reader is presumed to have the general background and technical knowledge appropriate to the art, and it is not in any case permitted to make amendments which go beyond the disclosure as filed, the examiner should not invite the applicant to insert anything in the nature of a treatise or research report or explanatory matter which is obtainable from textbooks or is otherwise well known. Likewise, the examiner should not invite the applicant to provide a detailed description of the content of cited prior documents. It is sufficient that the reason for the inclusion of the reference is indicated, unless, in a particular case, a more detailed description is necessary for a full understanding of the claimed invention. Lists of several reference documents relating to the same feature or aspect of the prior art are not required; only the most appropriate ones need to be referred to. On the other hand, the examiner should not invite the applicant to delete any such unnecessary matter, except when it is very extensive.