Subject of the search; restrictions 

Having determined the subject of the invention as outlined in B‑IV, 1.1, it may be desirable for the search division to prepare first a search statement, defining the subject of its search as precisely as possible. In many instances one or more of the claims may themselves serve this purpose, but they may have to be generalised in order to cover all aspects and embodiments of the invention. At this time, the considerations relating to subjects excluded from patentability (see B‑VIII, 1 and 2) and to lack of unity of invention (see B‑VII, 1.1) is to be borne in mind. The search division may also have to restrict the search because claims are deemed abandoned (see B‑III, 3.4), because the requirements of the EPC are not met to such an extent that a meaningful search is impossible (see B‑VIII, 3) or because the application does not comply with Rule 43(2) (see the procedure defined in B‑VIII, 4). Any such restrictions to the search must be indicated in the search report or declaration taking the place of the search report under Rule 63. The declaration must indicate the reasons for any restrictions under Rule 63 (see B‑X, 8(iii)). The declaration or the incomplete search report is considered, for the purposes of subsequent proceedings, as the search report.

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