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IPC - International Patent Classification Basics.

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1 IPC - International Patent Classification Basics

2 2 Basics of IPC The following presentation addresses: Elements of IPC scheme: - symbols, hierarchy, titles -other elements of IPC scheme (references, notes, etc.) Scope, filescope, effective scope of IPC places

3 3 Classes Subclasses Groups 70,000 Groups Subclasses 640 Subclasses Classes 129 Classes Sections 8 IPC hierarchical structure Tree-like hierarchy Subclasses Groups

4 4 Each place/entry (Section, Class, Subclass, Group) is characterized by a symbol and a title Symbol = succession of upper case letters and numbers Title = phrase describing the technical content (scope) of the place GPHYSICS A 47 HFurnishings for windows or doors A 01 JManufacture of dairy products A 01 K 31/00Housing birds Symbols and Titles

5 5 IPC Internet Publication Symbol Definition Catchword Index Bridge

6 6 hierarchical top level: 8 Sections IPC hierarchical structure

7 7 Classes Class = second hierarchical level below the section Class symbol = Section symbol followed by two digits The Class title gives a broad indication of the content of the class Section AHUMAN NECESSITIES Class A 01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL; Class A 21BAKING; EDIBLE DOUGHS Class A 22BUTCHERING; MEAT TREATMENT; …

8 8 Subclasses Subclass symbol = Class symbol followed by a letter Subclass title indicates the content of the subclass as precisely as possible A 47 FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL A 47 B Tables; Desks; Office furniture; Cabinets; Drawers; General details of furniture A 47 C Chairs; Sofas; Beds A 47 D Furniture specially adapted for children

9 9 Main Groups and Subgroups Group symbol = Subclass symbol followed by one to three digits + "/" + two to six digits A 01 K 31/00 Housing birds A 01 K 31/02. Door appliances; Automatic door-openers A 01 K 31/04. Dropping-boards; Devices for removing excrement A 01 K 31/06. Cages A 01 K 31/07.. Transportable cages A 01 K 31/08.. Collapsible cages Main group (XX/00)

10 10 IPC group symbols A23G 9/02 complete group symbol; consists of different components A Section (A, B,... H) A Class (any 2 digits) A23G Subclass (any letter) A23G 9/ Group Subgroup part Main group part

11 11 IPC group symbols A23G 9/ Main groupxxx/00 xxx= 1 to 999 A23G 9/ Subgroupxxx/yy (yy 00) xxx/yyyyyy Two types of groups: Main groups Subgroups of main groups

12 12 Hierarchical Structure of groups Hierarchical level of groups indicated by number of dots (indentation level) not by the Group Symbol 1/00 T 1/02 T 1 1/04 T 2 1/06 T 3 1/08 T 4 1/10 T 5 1/12 T 6 1/00 T 1/02. T 1 1/04.. T 2 1/06... T 3 1/08. T 4 1/10. T 5 1/12.. T 6 The content of group 1/12 (2 dots) should be seen as a subset of group 1/10 (1 dot) which is a subset of group 1/00 (main group)

13 13 H01B H01F 1/00 H01F 1/01 H H01H02 H01F H05 H01F 3/00 H01F 87/00 H01F 1/44 Section Class Subclass Main group Subgroup H01T IPC hierarchical structure

14 14 Subgroups Section Class Subclass Main group 12 th level 111 docs 6,592 documents sufficiently small numbers90 docs

15 15 Hierarchy of Subgroups Level of hierarchy: indicated by dots number of dots > indentation level, hierarchical level > Independent of numbering of subgroups ! G01N33/483 Physical analysis of biological material 33/487 of liquid biological material 33/49 blood 33/50 Chemical analysis of biological material, e.g. blood Lesson: Hierarchical level is independent of the symbol

16 16 G01N33/483 Physical analysis of biological material 33/487 of liquid biological material 33/49 blood 33/50 Chemical analysis of biological material, e.g. blood Numbering does not determine hierarchical level Numbering determines sequential/presentation order of subgroups Numbering of subgroups / can be interpreted as decimal point 0s are ommitted after second digit Example:y = 1/23> 1.23 y = 34/02> (33.49) (33.483) (33.487)

17 17 Questions Q1. Is A47D 7/01 placed in a hierarchically lower level than A47D 7/00? Q2. Is A61B 5/097 placed after A61B 5/11? Q3.Is an imaginary symbol K01A 1/10 placed in a hierarchically higher level than K01A 1/12? What about the relationship between K01A 1/10 and K01A 1/104? Q4.Is K01A 1/10 placed before or after K01A 1/12 ?

18 18 Answers A1. Yes A47D 7/00Children's beds A47D 7/01 · with adjustable parts A2. No (5.097 < 5.11) A3. Unknown; depends on number of dots. Ex.1 A42B 1/00Footwear characterised by the material A42B 1/10 · Footwear made of rubber A42B 1/12 · · of rubber waste Ex.2 A23G 1/00Cocoa; Cocoa products, e.g. chocolate ; … A23G 1/04 · Apparatus specially adapted for manufacture or treatment of cocoa or cocoa products A23G 1/10 · · Mixing apparatus; Roller mills for preparing chocolate A23G 1/12 · · Chocolate-refining mills, i.e. roll refiners Ex.3 A42B 1/00Hats; Caps; Hoods A42B 1/04 · Soft caps; Hoods A42B 1/08 · · with protection against blows … A42B 1/10 · · · Miners' caps A42B 1/12 · · Bathing caps A4. Before (1.10 < 1.12) Hierarchically higher level Hierarchically lower level

19 19 Titles and scope Scope The Scope of IPC entry (place) is: Symbol + Title build / formIPC entry IPC place classification place The technical subject matter that is covered by this place Synonyms Some terminology

20 20 A 47 AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING A01JManufacture of dairy products A01CPlanting; Sowing; Fertilising A47DFurniture specially adapted for children Examples of titles Multi part titles: separated by ; > accumulation of different subject matter Single part title

21 21 H01S 3/00 Lasers. 3/14. characterised by the material used as the active medium Subgroup titles upper case first letters: Titles can be read independently. Always within the scope of hierarchy. lower case: titles read as continuation of hierarchically higher title A01K 31/00Housing birds : 31/06. Cages 31/07.. Transportable cages (31/08 takes precedence) 31/08.. Collapsible cages

22 22 Dots and titles Dots Dots also used in place of titles of hierarchically superior groups to avoid repetitions A01K 31/00 Housing birds : 31/06. Cages 31/07.. Transportable cages 31/08.. Collapsible A01K 31/08 should be read as: Collapsible cages for housing birds

23 23 Attention ! 5/08. Stabilising surfaces mounted on, or supported by, wings 5/10. Adjustable stabilising surfaces Combined titles: B64C AEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS 5/00 Stabilising surfaces 5/06. Fins 5/08. mounted on, or supported by, wings 5/10. adjustable

24 24 Scope of IPC Groups Scope Scope (content) is defined by titles Sections, Classes:titles only broadly indicative of content Subclasses, groups: titles define content as precisely as possible N.B.: Scope of a group is always defined by title of the group + scope of hierarchically higher places e.g.:H01S 3/00 Lasers : H01S 3/05. Construction or shape of optical resonators

25 25 Section:A HUMAN NECESSITIES Class:A47 FURNITURE … Subclass:A47C CHAIRS Main group:A47C1/00 Chairs adapted for special purposes one dot subgroup: 1/02. Reclining or easy chairs two dot subgroup: 1/022.. having independently-adjustable supporting parts three dot subgroup: 1/ for changing a straight chair into an easy chair four dot subgroup: 1/ by changing the length or the inclination of the legs Example A47C1/029 reads Reclining or easy chairs having independently-adjustable supporting parts for changing a straight chair into an easy chair by changing the length or the inclination of the legs

26 26 Questions Q1. Try to combine the title of the following group and its hierarchical predecessors to single title: A01B 3/421 Q2. Try to combine the title of the following group and its hierarchical predecessors to single title: A01B 13/12

27 27 Answers A1. Turn-wrest ploughs mounted on tractors with a headstock frame made in one piece Hint: Use the hierarchic view mode and search the symbol; you will see only the symbol and the hierarchical higher places which you have to combine. A2. Ploughs for working subsoil having special implements for lifting subsoil layers with means for distributing the layers on the surface or Special implements for lifting subsoil layers with means for distributing the layers on the surface for ploughs for working subsoil

28 28 Scope of IPC Groups Example (circles symbolize scope, ie technical area covered by group) 1/00 T 1/02. T 1 1/04.. T 2 1/06... T 3 1/08. T 4 1/10. T 5 1/12.. T 6 Here: Scopes at same hierarchy are mutually exclusive; i.e. no overlap

29 29 A23N 4/00 Machines for stoning fruit or removing seed-containing sections from fruit, characterised by their stoning or removing device A23N 4/02 · for stoning fruit A23N 4/04 · · for peaches, plums, apricots or the like A23N 4/06 · · for cherries or the like A23N 4/08 · · for dates, olives or the like oblong fruits A23N 4/10 · · for fruit with very small pips, e.g. raisins A23N 4/12 · for coring fruit A23N 4/14 · · for apples, pears or the like A23N 4/16 · · for tomatoes or the like A23N 4/18 · · for citrus fruits A23N 4/20 · · for pineapples A23N 4/22 · for both splitting and stoning A23N 4/24 · for removing seed-containing sections from cut fruit Scope of IPC Groups (example) 4/00 4/02 4/044/064/084/10 4/12 4/144/164/184/20 4/24 4/22

30 30 G02B 1/00 Optical elements 1/02 1/04. made of organic materials 1/06 1/08. made of polarising materials Mutually exclusive scopes are ideal situations Overlap is possible Scope of IPC Groups 1/00 1/04 1/08

31 31 Filescope Some more terminology: Filescope Filescope of an IPC group: > Scope of the group minus the scope of all its subgroups > i.e. represents documents actually classified in a particular IPC group

32 32 1/00 File scope of IPC Groups Scope of 1/00File scope of 1/00 1/00 1/04 1/08

33 33 Elements of IPC scheme Classification places: Symbol + Title + Hierarchy References: > Statements in brackets referring to another place in the Classification > show that the subject matter indicated by the reference is covered by the place reffrred to > apply to the place where they appear and to all hierarchically lower places

34 34 Examples of references B64C 5/00 Stabilising surfaces (attaching stabilising surfaces to fuselage B64C 1/26) 5/06. Fins (specially for wings B64C 5/08) 5/08. mounted on, or supported by, wings A01D 69/00 Driving mechanisms or parts thereof for harvesters or mowers (driving mechanisms for the cutters of mowers or harvesters A01D 34/00) A01B35/00Other machines for working soil (A01B 37/00, A01B 39/00, A01B 77/00 take precedence) B64C AEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS (air-cushion vehicles B60V) Reference

35 35 References Two categories of references Limiting references: Limiting references: > they limit the scope of a place, in order to avoid overlap (e.g. A01D 69/00) Informative references: Informative references: > point to other similar subject matter, usually in other subclasses (similarity but no overlap)

36 36 Limiting references: > exclude specified subject matter from the scope of a classification place, when this subject matter would otherwise fulfill all the requirements of the classification place, i.e. would otherwise be covered by that place. Informative references: > indicate the location of (similar) subject matter that could be of interest for searching, but which subject matter is not within the scope of the classification place where the reference occurs. > relevant to classification References > relevant to search

37 37 Precedence references Precedence references: > references stating that another place takes precedence > used when subject matter is classifiable in two places, and it is desired that such subject matter should be classified in only one of those places > a type of limiting reference (see next slide) Application-type references Application-type references: > references from function-oriented places (general) to application- oriented places (places where their subject matter is covered if it is specially adapted, used for a particular purpose or incorporated in a larger system) References

38 38 Precedence references G02B 1/00 Optical elements 1/02 1/04. made of organic materials (1/08 takes precedence) 1/06 1/08. made of polarising materials Special case of limiting reference Alternative wording: G02B 1/ (optical elements made of polarising material G02B 1/08) 1/00 1/04 1/08 Overlap eliminated by reference

39 39 Removal of non-limiting references from the scheme Limiting or informative references are not identified as such in scheme > Ambiguity Non-limiting references are progressively being removed from the scheme and transferred to the Definitions This will abolish ambiguity; any reference in the scheme will in future be regarded as limiting

40 40 Elements of IPC scheme Notes: > Define the scope of places This place covers... This place does not cover... > Define terminology (B22F, G02) > Indicate classification rules (note 5 after G01R) > Separate statements after entries > Apply only to the place where they are, including all hierarchically lower places

41 41 Notes F42 Note(s) 1.This class covers also means for practice or training which may have aspects of simulation, although simulators are generally covered by class G … B22F Note(s) 1.This subclass covers the making of metallic powder only insofar as powder with specific physical characteristics is made. 2.…

42 42 Notes A61PSPECIFIC THERAPEUTIC ACTIVITY OF CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS OR MEDICINAL PREPARATIONS [7] Note(s) 1.This subclass covers therapeutic activity of chemical compounds or medicinal preparations already classified as such in subclasses A61K or C12N, or in classes C01, C07 or C08. [7] 2.In this subclass, the term "drugs" includes chemical compounds or compositions with therapeutic activity. [7] 3.In this subclass, therapeutic activity is classified in all appropriate places. [7] 4.The classification symbols of this subclass are not listed first when assigned to patent documents. [7]

43 43 Notes A61K 8/00 Cosmetics or similar toilet preparations [8] Note(s) Use of cosmetics or similar toilet preparations is further classified in subclass A61Q. [8] A61K 8/02 · characterised by special physical form [8] Note(s) In this group, in the absence of an indication of the contrary, classification is made in the last appropriate place. [8] A61K 8/03 · · Liquid compositions with two or more distinct layers [8] A61K 8/04 · · Dispersions; Emulsions [8] A61K 8/06 · · · Emulsions [8]

44 44 Subsections Subclass and class indexes Guidance headings Classification places: symbol + title + hierarchy References Notes Elements of IPC scheme Facilitate use of IPC

45 45 Subsections Subclass and class indexes Guidance headings Classification places: Symbol + Title + Hierarchy References Notes Determine effective scope of groups Elements of IPC scheme

46 46 IPC Subsections Subsections Subsections are informative headings without symbol separating Classes of similar content Section AHUMAN NECESSITIES SubsectionAGRICULTURE Class A 0lAGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL … Subsection FOODSTUFFS; TOBACCO Class A 2lBAKING; EDIBLE DOUGHS Class A 22BUTCHERING; MEAT TREATMENT; … Class A 24 TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES

47 47 Guidance Headings Guidance Headings Guidance Headings are underlined titles indicating the common subject matter of the following groups until the next guidance heading or horizontal line A24F Tobacco pipes 1/00Tobacco pipes 3/00Tobacco pipes combined with other objects Component parts or accessories for pipes; Mouthpieces 5/00Bowls for pipes 7/00Mouthpieces for pipes; Mouthpieces for cigar or cigarette holders …

48 48 Guidance Headings Guidance heading Holizontal line

49 49 Subclass Index Subclass Index Subclass Index is an informative summary giving a broad survey of the content of the subclass.

50 50 Questions Q5. In main group A 47 C 1/00, where would you classify: (a)devices for reserving a theatre chair? (b)a theatre chair tipping upwards? (c)devices for reserving a beach chair? Q6. In B26D, where would you classify cutting several slices of tomato at one time with a circular knife? Q7. In B 21 C, where would you classify manufacture of uncoated finned tubes by backward extrusion? Q8. In A 47 G, clothes hangers are in 25/00 and subordinate groups. Where would you classify a wire clothes hanger? Not in B 21 F 45/02, which takes the method.

51 51 Answers A5. (a)A47C 1/13 (b)A47C 1/121 (c)A47C 1/14 A6. B26D 1/14 A7. B21C 23/20 A8. A47G 25/24

52 52 Questions Q9. A wheel for a trailer (indicate main group(s) only)? Component parts of trailers are in B62D 63/08, but see second reference in subclass title. Q10. A method of splicing rope? D07B covers ropes, but there is a reference to B65H 69/00. Q11. A machine for grading eggs by weight? Weighing is in G01G, but there is a reference to B07C 5/16, where a reference leeds you to A01K 43/00.

53 53 Answers A9. B60B 1/00 3/00 5/00 9/00 15/00 19/00 A10. B65H 69/06 A11. A01K 43/08

54 54 Indication of revision changes Text in italics indicates: Deleted symbols with transfer notes (transferred to … covered by..) indicating the new places new entries in the current version, or existing entries with changed file scope in the current version C12N 5/06 (transferred to C12N 5/07) C12N 5/07 · Animal cells or tissues [ ] C12N 5/071 · · Vertebrate cells or tissues, e.g. human cells or tissues [ ] C12N 5/08 (transferred to C12N 5/071) Example of new and deleted entries

55 55 Version indicators Traditional edition indicators in scheme: [3], [8],... indicates edition(s) when created or change of scope occurred. Purpose coverage of old editions New version indicator after 2006: [ ] indicates version(s) (year.month=YYYY.MM) of entering into force or of file scope change

56 56 Version indicators

57 57 Version indicators IPC IPC

58 58 Residual places AXXG 1/00 2/00 3/00 99/00 1/00 2/00 3/00 How to classify in a subclass subject matter which is not covered by any of its main groups > Residual main group that takes rest of scope usually numbered 99/00

59 59 Guide to the IPC The official Guide to the IPC provides comprehensive information on the IPC. It is available for download on the WIPO website of the IPC at:


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