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IPC - International Patent Classification Basics. 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.

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Ipc international patent classification basics

IPC - International Patent ClassificationBasics


Basics of ipc

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


Ipc hierarchical structure

Tree-like hierarchy

IPC hierarchical structure

Sections

8

Classes

Classes

Classes

129

Subclasses

Subclasses

Subclasses

Subclasses

Subclasses

640

Groups

Groups

Groups

Groups

Groups

Groups

Groups

Groups

Groups

70,000


Symbols and titles

Symbols and Titles

  • 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


Ipc international patent classification basics

IPC Internet Publication

Symbol

Definition

Catchword Index

Bridge


Ipc hierarchical structure1

IPC hierarchical structure

► hierarchical top level: 8 Sections


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; …

Classes


Subclasses

Subclasses

Subclass symbol= Class symbol followed by a letter

Subclass titleindicates 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


Main groups and subgroups

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)


Ipc group symbols

Main group part

Subgroup part

IPC group symbols

A23G 9/02

► complete group symbol; consists of different components

A....................... Section (A, B, ... H)

A23....................... Class (any 2 digits)

A23G....................... Subclass (any letter)

A23G 9/02............ Group


Ipc group symbols1

IPC group symbols

►Two types of groups: Main groups

Subgroups of main groups

A23G 9/00........... Main groupxxx/00

xxx= 1 to 999

A23G 9/02........... Subgroupxxx/yy (yy ≠ 00)

xxx/yyyyyy


Hierarchical structure of groups

Hierarchical Structure of groups

Hierarchical level of groups indicatedby number of dots(indentation level)not by the Group Symbol

1/00 T1/02 . T11/04 . . T21/06 . . . T31/08 . T41/10 . T51/12 . . T6

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)


Ipc hierarchical structure2

IPC hierarchical structure

H

Section

H05

H01

H02

Class

H01B

H01F

Subclass

H01T

H01F 87/00

H01F 1/00

H01F 3/00

Main group

H01F 1/44

H01F 1/01

Subgroup


Ipc international patent classification basics

6,592 documents

Section

Class

Subclass

Maingroup

Subgroups

12th level

90 docs

►sufficiently small numbers

111 docs


Hierarchy of subgroups

Hierarchy of Subgroups

►Level of hierarchy:

indicated by dots

number of dots > indentation level, hierarchical level

> Independent ofnumbering 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


Numbering of subgroups

Numbering of subgroups

  • Numbering does not determine hierarchical level

  • Numbering determines sequential/presentation order of subgroups

„ / “ can be interpreted as decimal point 0s are ommitted after second digit

Example:y = 1/23> 1.23

y = 34/02> 34.02

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

(33.483)

(33.487)

(33.49)


Questions

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 ?


Answers

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


Titles and scope

Synonyms

Titles and scope

►Some terminology

 Symbol + Title build / formIPC entry

IPC place

classification place

 The Scope of IPC entry (place) is:

The technical subject matter that is covered by this place


Examples of titles

Examples of titles

Multi part titles: separated by “;“

> accumulation of different subject matter

A 47 AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING

A01JManufacture of dairy products

A01CPlanting; Sowing; Fertilising

A47DFurniture specially adapted for children

Single part title


Subgroup titles

Subgroup titles

 A01K 31/00Housing birds

:

31/06 . Cages

31/07 . . Transportable cages (31/08 takes precedence)

31/08 . . Collapsible cages

  • upper case first letters: Titles can be read independently. Always within the scope of hierarchy.

 H01S 3/00 Lasers

3/14 .characterised by the material used as the active medium

  • lower case: titles read as continuation of hierarchically higher title


Dots and titles

Dots and titles

  • 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”


Attention

Attention !

B64C AEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS

5/00 Stabilising surfaces

5/06 . Fins

5/08 . mounted on, or supported by, wings

5/10 . adjustable

Combined titles:

5/08 . Stabilising surfaces mounted on, or supported by, wings

5/10 . Adjustable stabilising surfaces


Scope of ipc groups

Scope of IPC Groups

  • ►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


Example

Example

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: 1/028 . . . for changing a straight chair into an easy chair

four‑dot subgroup: 1/029 . . . . by changing the length or the inclination of the legs

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”


Questions1

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


Answers1

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


Scope of ipc groups1

Scope of IPC Groups

Example (circles symbolize scope,

ie technical area covered by group)

1/00 T

1/02 . T1

1/04 . . T2

1/06 . . . T3

1/08 . T4

1/10 . T5

1/12 . . T6

Here: Scopes at same hierarchy are mutually exclusive;

i.e. no overlap


Scope of ipc groups example

Scope of IPC Groups (example)

4/04

4/08

4/06

4/10

4/14

4/18

4/16

4/20

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

4/00

4/02

4/12

4/22

4/24


Scope of ipc groups2

1/00

1/04

1/08

Scope of IPC Groups

  • Mutually exclusive scopes are ideal situations

  • Overlap is possible

G02B 1/00 Optical elements

1/02

1/04 . made of organic materials

1/06

1/08 . made of polarising materials


Filescope

Filescope

►Some more terminology:

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


File scope of ipc groups

File scope of IPC Groups

1/08

1/04

1/00

1/00

Scope of 1/00

File scope of 1/00


Elements of ipc scheme

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


Examples of references

Examples of references

B64C AEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS (air-cushion

vehicles B60V)

Reference

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)


References

References

►Two categories of references

Limiting references:

> they limit the scope of a place,

in order to avoid overlap (e.g. A01D 69/00)

Informative references:

> point to other similar subject matter,

usually in other subclasses

(similarity but no overlap)


Ipc international patent classification basics

References

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.”

> relevant to classification

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 search


Ipc international patent classification basics

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:

> 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)


Precedence references

Precedence references

Overlap eliminated by reference

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 1/04 . - - - (optical elementsmade

of polarising material G02B 1/08)

1/08

1/04

1/00


Removal of non limiting references from the scheme

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


Elements of ipc scheme1

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


Notes

Notes

  • F42

  • Note(s)

  • This class covers also means for practice or training which may have aspects of simulation, although simulators are generally covered by class G09.

  • B22F

  • Note(s)

  • This subclass covers the making of metallic powder only insofar as powder with specific physical characteristics is made.


Notes1

Notes

  • A61PSPECIFIC THERAPEUTIC ACTIVITY OF CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS OR MEDICINAL PREPARATIONS  [7]  

  • Note(s)

  • 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]

  • In this subclass, the term "drugs" includes chemical compounds or compositions with therapeutic activity. [7]

  • In this subclass, therapeutic activity is classified in all appropriate places. [7]

  • The classification symbols of this subclass are not listed first when assigned to patent documents. [7]


Notes2

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]


Elements of ipc scheme2

Elements of IPC scheme

  • Subsections

  • Subclass and class indexes

  • Guidance headings

  • Classification places: symbol + title + hierarchy

  • References

  • Notes

Facilitate use of IPC


Elements of ipc scheme3

Elements of IPC scheme

  • Subsections

  • Subclass and class indexes

  • Guidance headings

  • Classification places: Symbol + Title + Hierarchy

  • References

  • Notes

Determine effective scope of groups


Ipc subsections

IPC Subsections

  • Subsections are informative headings without symbol separating Classes of similar content

    Section AHUMAN NECESSITIES

    SubsectionAGRICULTURE

    Class A 0lAGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL …

    SubsectionFOODSTUFFS; TOBACCO

    Class A 2lBAKING; EDIBLE DOUGHSClass A 22BUTCHERING; MEAT TREATMENT; …

    Class A 24 TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES


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

  • A24FTobacco pipes1/00Tobacco pipes

  • 3/00Tobacco pipes combined with other objects

  • Component parts or accessories for pipes; Mouthpieces5/00Bowls for pipes

  • 7/00Mouthpieces for pipes; Mouthpieces for cigar or cigarette holders …


Guidance headings1

Guidance Headings

Guidance heading

Holizontal line


Subclass index

Subclass Index

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


Questions2

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.


Answers2

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


Questions3

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.


Answers3

Answers

  • A9. B60B 1/00

  • 3/00

  • 5/00

  • 9/00

  • 15/00

  • 19/00

  • A10. B65H 69/06

  • A11. A01K 43/08


Indication of revision changes

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

Example of new and deleted entries

C12N 5/06 (transferred toC12N 5/07)

C12N 5/07 ·  Animal cells or tissues  [2010.01]

C12N 5/071 ·  ·  Vertebrate cells or tissues, e.g. human cells or tissues  [2010.01]

C12N 5/08 (transferred toC12N 5/071)


Version indicators

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: [2013.01]

    • indicates version(s) (year.month=YYYY.MM) of entering into force or of file scope change


Ipc international patent classification basics

Version indicators


Version indicators1

Version indicators

IPC-2011.01

IPC-2012.01


Residual places

Residual places

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

AXXG 1/00

2/00

3/00

2/00

1/00

3/00

99/00


Ipc international patent classification basics

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:

http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/en/general/


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