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USPTO and EPO Announce Launch of Cooperative Patent Classification System
|This story was retrieved from the USPTO website. Neither the USPTO nor any other entity
represented in the article endorses this website.
January 02, 2013
USPTO and EPO Announce Launch of Cooperative Patent
-- New system incorporates best classification practices
from each office
The U.S. Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office
(EPO) today announced the formal launch of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system, a global
classification system for patent documents.
An ambitious harmonization effort, CPC is the product of a
joint partnership between the USPTO and the EPO to develop a common, internationally compatible classification
system for technical documents used in the patent granting process that incorporates the best classification
practices from both offices. It will be used by the USPTO and more than 45 patent offices – a user community
totaling more than 20,000 patent examiners – all sharing the same classifications helping to establish the CPC as
an international standard.
“Today's formal launch of CPC is a tremendous accomplishment, representing the
collaborative efforts of both offices to create a bilateral classification system that will result in significant
benefits to the global innovation community” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “CPC will foster patent harmonization efforts by enhancing our ability to
leverage and use work through an integrated network of intellectual property offices.”
"The launch of the
CPC constitutes a significant breakthrough in efforts to achieve greater harmonisation in the patent system at
international level," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "It is a major step forward on the path to improved
efficiency in the patent system for the benefit of the global economy, and key to securing effective patent
protection through a quality-based patent system. The work accomplished in a very short period by the project
teams and patent examiners of both offices deserves the recognition of the entire intellectual property
Since October 2010, the USPTO and EPO
have worked jointly to develop the CPC system, which includes approximately 250,000 classification symbols based
on the International Patent Classification (IPC) system thus enabling examiners and patent users worldwide to
conduct searches by accessing the same classified patent document collections. CPC will lead to more efficient
prior art searches and enhance efficiency through work-sharing initiatives designed to reduce unnecessary
duplication of work.
CPC definitions containing a thorough description of the technical subject-matter
covered will be provided for every CPC subclass and regularly updated. Distance learning will be made available to
users in early 2013.
For more detailed information about the new classification system, including the
downloadable CPC schemes, CPC definitions and concordances (e.g. ECLA to CPC and CPC to IPC), please visit the
For non-press inquiries about CPC, contact Wynn Coggins at (571)272-1850 or
Stay current with the USPTO by
subscribing to receive e-mail updates. Visit our Subscription Center at
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