As many will already have noticed the Corporate Patent Classification (CPC), which the AWAPATENT IP Blog has covered previously, has now been launched and taken into use by the EPO and the USPTO.
To recapture in brief, the CPC is based on the latest version of the International Patent Classification (IPC) system. The CPC is divided into sections A through H similar to the IPC as well as an additional brand new section Y inspired by the United States Patent Classification, USPC, and including new technological developments, technologies spanning over several IPC-classes as well as matter previously covered by the US cross-reference art collection.
The launch took place on 1 January 2013, and simultaneously the European Patent Classifiaction, ECLA, was terminated. Thus the CPC has taken the place of the ECLA in e.g. search databases such as Espacenet. Likewise, the intention is to phase out the USPC which has already been frozen, but which may nevertheless still be searched through the USPTO-website.
And to those who may have begun to wonder: Yes, the IPC will continue to exist alongside the CPC. So will by the way the Japanese patent classification system as the JPO has so far not adopted the CPC.
Furthermore, it is now possible for users to acknowledge themselves fully with the CPC, as comprehensive information including i.a. a full table of definitions and concordance table were available on the CPC-website.
In this connection, it is worth noticing that the EPO conducts a CPC user seminar at the EPO premises in Vienna, Austria, on 23 March 2013. For those without the possibility of going to Vienna, an E-learning module is available on the CPC-website.
As for the future, the CPC will be continuously revised, with the first revision scheduled for April 2013. Also, promotion efforts will be made by the EPO and the USPTO to get other IPOs to adopt the CPC.
Troels Peter Rørdam, European Patent Attorney & Certified Danish Patent Agent