320. The international search.

320.     The international search.

On receipt of an international application the international searching authority1 carries out an international search2, the purpose of which is to discover relevant prior art3 to enable subsequent examination to assess novelty and inventive step. The international searching authority is not required to search subject matter which is not patentable under national laws4. After the search, the international searching authority draws up an international search report5 which is sent to the International Bureau6 and to the applicant7.