For claims directed to computer-implemented inventions and business methods, where the technical aspect lending technical character to that subject-matter is so commonly known that documentary evidence as to the relevant state of the art is not required because nobody could reasonably deny that it is conventional, a search report under Rule 61 may be issued which comprises either:
In cases where there is no other potential technical contribution beyond the idea of using IT to carry out and/or automate non-technical tasks (for example, to achieve better business results), the search will be complete when evidence is cited that the underlying idea of making use of generally known IT means for carrying out a non-technical activity was known at the filing or priority date. This document should be labelled "L" and a comment should be added in the search report.
Given that non-technical subject-matter is not searched and it is also generally accepted that common general knowledge does not need to be proven by written evidence (see G-VII, 2), the search report need not cite a document to provide documentary proof that such technical aspects of claimed subject-matter were comprised in the state of the art at the relevant date. The search report contains a declaration to that effect (see OJ EPO 2007, 592).