The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has highlighted the benefits of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) project. The CPC aims to create a joint patent classification system that is based on the European Classification system (ECLA), but combines the best practices of the USPTO and the European Patent Office. The CPC began on January 1st of this year.
For those who may not be sold on the new system, below are several of the top reasons why the USPTO moved to using the CPC:
- CPC Is Up-to-Date. The U.S. Patent Classification System (USPC) has not been updated and maintained over time. Thanks to EPO’s efforts, CPC will start out current. And the USPTO and EPO will jointly maintain CPC, so it will remain current and affordably so, with revisions made on a regular basis to provide manageable breakdowns.
- CPC Is Compatible. USPC is not compatible with any other classification system used in the world today. The other four major intellectual property offices (EPO, KIPO, JPO, SIPO), all utilize a classification system based on the International Patent Classification (IPC) standard. Moving to CPC will provide the USPTO with a classification system that is compatible with the IPC.
- One Search, One Source. U.S. patent examiners will be able to select one set of CPC classification codes pertinent to a technology, and then have before them the available U.S., European, and other foreign art.
- CPC Is Collaborative. Collaboration tools will be developed for USPTO and EPO examiners to share and exchange classification and search ideas.
- CPC Is For All Users. Use of the CPC classification system will provide both examiners and patent system users worldwide the ability to conduct patent document searches by accessing the same document collections.
- CPC Is Global. CPC will be used by the USPTO and more than 45 patent offices in their internal search systems. This user community totals more than 20,000 patent examiners who will share the same classification scheme, i.e., the CPC. This diverse community will help establish the CPC as an international standard.