From the United States Patent and Trademark Office:
Washington - The United States Patent & Trademark
Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) are pleased to report that
agreement was reached on the principles of the new Cooperative Patent
Classification (CPC) at a meeting at the USPTO held on Nov. 29 through Dec. 1,
2010, and further developed at a meeting at the EPO in The Hague on January 24-
This joint classification system, first announced on Oct.
25, 2010, will be co-managed by the EPO and the USPTO. The CPC will be based on the International
Patent Classification (IPC) system, which is administered by the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The CPC will use the European Classification system (ECLA) as a basis
and incorporate the best classification practices of the USPTO. The jointly developed classification system
will be more detailed than the IPC to improve patent searching.
A governance structure has been designed, a quality
management process has been designed and an implementation plan outlined. A CPC training pilot will be held at the
USPTO in March 2011 to define training needs and explore training
techniques. A CPC follow up meeting is
scheduled for spring 2011 at the USPTO.
The EPO and USPTO view the CPC as a major step toward
accelerating the Common Hybrid Classification (CHC), one of the ten Foundation
Projects of the Five IP Offices (IP5) which were devised to harmonize the
search and information environment of each office and to standardize the
information-sharing process. Further
information on the Foundation Projects is available at www.fiveipoffices.org.