Cooperative patent classification a common classification system initiated jointly by USPTO and EPO will start from January 2013. Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) is the result of the efforts of the EPO and the USPTO to develop a common classification system that will be used by the two offices in the patent procedure.
The migration to CPC will be developed based in large part on the existing European Classification System (ECLA) and will be modified to ensure compliance with the International Patent Classification system (IPC) standards administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The main Objectives of CPC (Cooperative patent classification) are:
1. Improving patent searching procedures ,
2.Maintenance of the patent related documents.
3.Efficient prior art search.
4.Reducing unnecessary duplication of work.
According to EPO President Battistelli, “the CPC will be a stepping stone towards a more general harmonization of the world’s patent system.”
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.
It will be used by the USPTO and more than 45 patent office’s – a user community totaling more than 20,000 patent examiners – all sharing the same classifications helping to establish the CPC as an international standard.
Contributed by Akshatha Karthik