The definition of prior art in Rule 33 PCT
is valid exclusively for the international phase of the procedure. This means that, during the European phase, the EPO applies the criteria applicable under the EPC for determining the relevant prior art. However, the scope of an international search is equivalent to that of a European search. This means that there is no difference between an international and a European search
, either in respect of the method and quality of the search or in respect of the sources of prior art searched.