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International Patent Classification (IPCR) refers to the reformed version of IPC. The International Patent Classification (IPC), established by the Strasbourg Agreement 1971, provides for a hierarchical system of language independent symbols for the classification of patents and utility models according to the different areas of technology to which they pertain. (Source: WIPO). You can browse the IPC classification here.

Classification and description - 

  • A - Human necessities 

  • B - Performing operations; transporting 

  • C - Chemistry; metallurgy 

  • D - Textiles; paper 

  • E - Fixed constructions 

  • F - Mechanical engineering; lighting; heating; weapons; blasting engines or pumps 

  • G - Physics 

  • H - Electricity


Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) is an extension of the IPC and is jointly managed by the EPO and the US Patent and Trademark Office. It is divided into nine sections, A-H and Y, which in turn are sub-divided into classes, sub-classes, groups and sub-groups. There are approximately 250 000 classification entries. The CPC is constantly being expanded as new technical fields emerge. (Source: EPO). You can browse the CPC classification here


Classification and description:

  • A - Human necessities 

  • B - Performing operations; transporting 

  • C - Chemistry; metallurgy 

  • D - Textiles; paper 

  • E - Fixed constructions 

  • F - Mechanical engineering; lighting; heating; weapons; blasting engines or pumps 

  • G - Physics 

  • H - Electricity 

  • Y - General tagging of new technological developments; general tagging of cross-sectional technologies spanning over several sections of the IPC; technical subjects covered by former USPC cross-reference art collections [XRACs] and digests.