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BIO375H5 - Introductory Medical Biotechnology

Cooperative Patent Classification: The Basics

The Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system assigns at least one classification to a patent.  You may see one ore more of classifications bolded; these refer to an 'Inventive' class and address the disclosed invention portion (or dislosure) of the patent.  

The CPC system is hierarchical and uses a series of letter and numerical codes to denote each patent's grouping within the larger hierarchy.  These codes or symbols work as follows:

CPC Classification Codes Example: A61K 39/0011
Section: A-H, Y                                    A:  Human Necessities
Class: 2-digit number 61: Medical or Veterinary Science; Hygiene
Sub-class: A-Z K: Preparations for Medical, Dental or Toilet Purposes
Main Group: 1-, 2- or 3-digit number, followed by /00 39/00 Medicinal preparations containing antigens or antibodies

Sub-Group: 2-digit number

11 Cancer antigens


To see this example, begin at: http://worldwide.espacenet.com/classification?locale=en_EP#!/CPC=A

CPC sample classification

Group Exercise #6

Use Espacenet's CPC look-up tool to see which code(s) might apply to chin implants.  

What did you find?  Did the patents you find associated with these codes look relevant?  Were the results better than those you found using just keywords?

Go back to your earlier search results and see if you can find a relevant patent.  Do a classification search using a bolded CPC code.  Are the results any better?