The objective of the search is to discover the state of the art which is relevant for the purpose of determining whether, and if so to what extent, the claimed invention for which protection is sought is new and involves an inventive step.
The search is thus not usually directed to discovering disclosures which may be of interest to the applicant. However, under certain circumstances documents not directly relevant for assessing the patentability of the claimed invention may be cited in the search report (see B‑X, 9.2.2 and B‑X, 9.2.5).
The examination procedure and the preparation of the search opinion depend on the search for the knowledge of the state of the art on which assessment of the patentability of the invention is based. The search must, therefore, be as complete and effective as possible, within the limitations necessarily imposed by issues such as unity of invention and other considerations (see B‑III, 2, B‑VII and B‑VIII).