Cooperative Patent Classification
January 2013 saw the launch of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC), jointly developed by the EPO and the USPTO. Over the course of the year the IP offices of China, Korea, Russia and Brazil as well as several EPO member states‘ offices agreed to classify their documents using the CPC. In total 14 IP offices are classifying on the CPC, with many more using it for search. The CPC is a powerful tool, highly efficient for retrieving relevant documents for a particular technology, irrespective of the country of origin of the patent application and language in which it has been filed. The more widely the CPC is used, the more useful it becomes.