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PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines


Chapter 4 Content of the International Application (Other Than the Claims)

Expressions, Etc., Not to Be Used

Rule 9.1(i), (ii)

4.29  There are four categories of expressions which should not be contained in an international application. These categories are specified in Rule 9.1. Examples of the kind of matter coming within the first and second categories (contrary to morality or public order (“ordre public”)) are: incitement to riot or to acts of disorder; incitement to criminal acts; racial, religious or similar discriminatory propaganda; and grossly obscene matter. The purpose of Rule 9 is to prohibit the kind of matter likely to induce riot or public disorder, or lead to criminal or other generally offensive behavior. This Rule is likely to be invoked by the examiner only in rare cases.

Rule 9.1(iii)

4.30  It is necessary to discriminate in the third category (disparaging statements) between libelous or similarly disparaging statements, which are not allowed, and fair comment, for example, in relation to obvious or generally recognized disadvantages, or disadvantages stated to have been found by the applicant, which, if relevant, is permitted.

Rule 9.1(iv)

4.31  The fourth category is irrelevant matter. It should be noted, however, that such matter is specifically prohibited under the Rule only if it is “obviously irrelevant or unnecessary,” for instance, if it has no bearing on the subject matter of the invention or its background of relevant prior art (see also paragraph A4.05[2] in the appendix to this chapter). The matter to be removed may already be obviously irrelevant or unnecessary in the original description. It may, however, be matter which has become obviously irrelevant or unnecessary only in the course of the examination proceedings, for example, owing to a limitation of the claims of the patent to one of the originally several alternatives.

4.32  The receiving Office (see the PCT Receiving Office Guidelines) the International Searching Authority (see paragraph 15.35), the Authority specified for supplementary search (see paragraph 15.88A) or the International Bureau will deal with matter falling under Rule 9.1. The applicant should be informed of the category applied under which the prohibited matter is to be removed.