; Reform of the IPC
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Reform of the IPC


  • pg 1
									IPC - International Patent Classification

   IPC – Revision and Reform
Revision of IPC
► Goals of revision:
      • Adapting IPC to:
      - developing or newly emerging technology
      - high activity in particular existing fields
      • Improve efficient use and quality of IPC

  May consist in
  - further subdivisions, new groups, deletion old groups
  - amendments to existing entries
   e.g. in IPC8 new subclass Business Methods: G06Q

                              < > Reform of the IPC
Revision of IPC
► Revision carried out by IPC Revision Working Group

► Information on
    Projects: e-forum website                                             > http://www.wipo.int/ipc-ief/

    Decisions: meetings website      > http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/en/meetings/index.html

    Modifications of IPC scheme:               > http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/ipc8/?lang=en

       • Compilation files: all amendments
       • RCL: only amendments requiring reclassification
         of documents (modified file scope)
RCL > Revision Concordance List

                         RCL example for version 2007.01:
                         New subdivison in A62D and H02M

      previous version                   new version

Revision of IPC
► Compilation file indicators in first column:

     D: Deleted entry
     M: Modified entry; no change of file scope
     C: Modified entry; change of file scope
     N: New entry

                                             > http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/ipc8/?lang=e

Revision of IPC
► Amendments / modifications that lead to a change of file
 scope are indicated in the scheme by a version
 indicators at the end of a title, e.g. :

    [3]          amendments of version IPC 3
    [2007.01] amendments of version IPC 2007.01

 Possible amendments modifying file scope:
   • new subdivisions
   • substantially modified title
   • added limiting reference
                                                             dyn IPC

                                                             static IPC
Shortcomings pre-reform IPC
 IPC was historically a tool for manually searching paper

 5 years revision cycle
     > retarded accommodation of new technology, high

 Pre-reform IPC was a compromise:
   • not sufficiently detailed for large offices
   • too complex for small offices

 > 1999 Launching of reform projects
Reform of the IPC
► IPC was traditionally paper based
► New challenge:
   Converting IPC to an electronic and internet-based
   Imbedding IPC in framework of modern IT
► Goals of reform:
   Improve user-friendliness and efficient use of IPC
   Creation of a universal search tool for all patent
   Establishment of a global distribution system of
    classification data
Essential features Reformed IPC
   Options for classifying at different hierarchical levels
   Modified Revision Policy
   Obligatory Reclassification PCT Minimum
   MCD
   Supplementary Information in Electronic Layer
   Software Tools to assist Classification

2006 Reformed IPC (R-IPC) enters into force

Reform revisited
2008: Task Force for reviewing efficiency of reformed IPC
2009: Committee of Experts adopts certain modifications
Reform of IPC
Current Patent Classifications
  IPC - 70 000 groups
  ECLA (EPO) - 150 000 groups
  US Patent Classification - 150 000 groups
  Japan Patent Classification - 190 000 groups
R-IPC: Core / Advanced Level

 Smaller offices, i.e. small number of applications:

        > need simple classification scheme

 Larger offices; databases:

        > need more sophisticated classification scheme
        (ECLA, DECLA, F-terms; US-classification)

                    > Split of the scheme in two levels
R-IPC: Core / Advanced Level
 Core Level: (until 2011 !)
    - reduced set of classification symbols (17000)
    - contains only hierarchically high places (all
      main groups and hierarchically high subgroups)
    - for smaller offices
 Advanced Level:
    - full set of symbols (currently 70 000)
    - for larger offices; PCT minimum
 Both levels are compatible:
    - Advanced Level is mostly a finer subdivision of the
    Core Level; subset of Advanced Level
Core / Advanced Level
► Color coding

On Jan. 1, 2006:
                                                       Core Level

                          x   x                        x
             x                             x               x
                 x                             x               x       x
     x                    x       x                x               x       x           x
         x                                                                     x           x
 x                x
     x                x      x             x                                               xxx
     x      x    x   x     x                                       x                          x
         x x       x                  x                                            x
           x         x x     x                                 x
             x x                  x x                              x                       x x
                x       xx                                                 x
          x          x                                                         x
            x       x      x             x x                       x x
              x       x    x    x    x    x                         x
                              x             x
                                x      x
 IPC entries,
 groups                               Advanced Level
Core/Advanced Level
 Classification in Advanced Level is obligatory for PCT
  minimum documentation

 PCT Minimum: Defined set of patent literature to be
 searched for all PCT applications (e.g. all EP, US, DE, GB,…

 Other IPO´s have choice between AL and CL for classifying
  their national collections

 Core Level better suited for offices with smaller collections of
  national patent documents
Modified Revision Policy
 Core Level:
       - revision according traditional procedure by
         Revision Working Group (all IPC Union members)
       - revision cycle 3 years (or longer)
                      > more stable

 Advanced Level:
      - revision according new procedure by
        AL Subcommittee with few members (EPO, JP, US)
      - revision cycle (at least) 3 months
                     > accelerated revision, more dynamic
 Modified Revision Policy
January 1, 2006
      ► new version of advanced and core level

January 1, 2007; October 1, 2007; January 1, 2008; April 1, 2008
      ► new version advanced level only

January 1, 2009
      ► new version of advanced and core level
Revision of Advanced Level
 To be further refined by harmonization of ECLA, FI-
  terms, USPC
  > Harmony projects of trilateral Offices (EPO, JP, US)

 All members of IPC - Union can submit revision
  requests, monitor AL revision projects (on TEF), and
  submit comments

 Approval of amendments only by Subcommittee

 Amendments will enter into force not earlier than 3
  months after approval by Subcommittee and only after
  reclassification of affected documents is completed
R-IPC in 2011
 Classification at core level is replaced by classification at
  main group level
 Terms “core level” and “advanced level” are abondoned
 Offices will have three options for classification of
  documents, i.e. using
     - full IPC, i.e. all symbols   > = advanced level
     - main group symbols           > replaces core level
     - subclass symbols             > option already before 2006
 Following a revision with amendments that lead to a
  change of file scope (e.g. new subdivisions):

  All affected documents, i.e. all documents being
  classified in a revised place should be reclassified

 Before the reform: only recommendation
 Now: Obligatory reclassification of the PCT-Minimum
 Now: Reclassification of non PCT-Minimum is
Master Classification Database MCD
 Collects all classification/reclassification data (PCT
  minimum and other if supplied by IPO´s)
 Hosted by EPO; extension of EPO´s existing DocDB
 Identifies all documents to be reclassified due to
  revision, establishes work lists of such documents for
 Accepts submission of reclassification data from any
 Data are available to any IPO (or interested party) as
  updates of DocDB; searchable via ESPACENET, etc.

 MCD is a most powerful tool for searching patent
 documentation according to the most recent IPC version
       Electronic layer of Reformed IPC

        pre-reform IPC paper based
        > limited space for supplementary information:

          - Explanations of complex subject matter

          - Glossaries, etc

          - Illustrations, formulae

          >>     now as “Definitions”
                 in Electronic Layer (Internet)

§ 44                                                     IPC
 Broader explanation of scope
 Relations to other related/similar areas
 References
 Special rules
 Glossary (terms in scheme linked to glossary)
 Synonyms, e.g. alternative expressions used in patent

Available if “D”-symbol next to symbol in online IPC
Classification Software Tools
 Search for relevant classification symbols in natural
  language (TACSY)
       – regularly updated to latest IPC
       – for shorter search queries                             http://www.wipo.int/tacsy/

 Computer-assisted classification at the core level
       – assistance for classification of patent applications
       – allows input of up to 200 words (e.g. abstracts)
       – works also with short queries                 http://www.wipo.int/ipccat/index.html
 Access: via IPChome or

 Allows automated classification down to main group
     > coarse pre-classification; e.g. for channeling
     applications to appropriate technical (examination) unit

 Takes texts up to 200 words (e.g. abstracts); document
 Based on artificial neural network
 Trained with approx. 100,000 classified documents
 Based on IPC 7 (NB: in IPC 8 only 4 new subclasses)
 Access: via IPChome or

 Natural language search of IPC: you need not know
  precise terminology
 Takes shorter keyword combinations up to 15-20 words
 Results given down to subgroups
Additional features of reformed IPC

 Residual places
 Changes to hybrid system
 Standardised sequence of main groups
 Version indicators
 Removal of informative references from scheme
 Modified representation of classification information
 Amended recommendations for selecting
  classifications (Common Rule)
Residual places
 All existing subgroups were reviewed if existing main
  groups exhaust scope of subclass

 Creation of new residual main groups where scope not

 Creation of new “super residual“ main groups for each
  section, abolition of X-notations

 A99Z 99/00, B99Z 99/00, ....
Simplified Hybrid System
Hybrid system: Assigning of indexing symbols together
               with primary classification symbol


- Identical presentation of indexing and ordinary symbols

- Linking of symbols abolished

- Number of indexing groups strongly reduced
  (deletion or conversion to ordinary groups; WG)

- Abolition of double purpose schemes
Standardised sequence of main groups

• Traditional ordering of groups:

From less specialised/complex to more specialised/complex

• New standardised sequence of main groups:

From more specialised/complex to less specialised/complex

> Display option for Internet version
Removal of informative references
from scheme

 Informative references will in future be removed from
  IPC scheme and be available in Definitions of the e-
  layer only

 This will abolish ambuigity; any reference in the
  scheme can in future be regarded as relevant for
Summary on Reform and IPC 8
► Reformed IPC 8 has reform + revision aspects
  For an AL user, the scheme has not changed
    • Some new groups due to revision aspect
    • Common rule
    • Fewer indexing schemes
    • Further elaboration of AL by harmonization of ECLA,
      USPC, FI only gradually in future
    • For state of the art searches one should still use the
      full IPC, i.e. the AL
    • CL only for ordering or searching small collections

  More drastic changes for IT people: ST.36, ST.8
Former ST.8
New ST.8: Recording IPC data
In string of fixed length (50 positions)
                                   Content                            Values
            1           Section                         A,…,H
            2,3         Class                           01,…,99
            4           Subclass                        A,…,Z
            5 to 8      Main Group (right aligned)      1,…,9999, blank
            9           Separating character            / (“Slash”)
            10 to 15    Subgroup (left aligned)         00,…,999999, blank
            16 to 19    For future use                  4 blanks
            20 to 27    Version indicator               YYYY MMDD date format
            28          Classification level            C,A,S
                        First or later position of
            29                                          F,L
                        Classification value
            30                                          I,N
                        (inventive or non-inventive)
            31 to 38    Action date                     YYYY MMDD date format
            39          Original or reclassified data   B,R,V,D
            40          Source of classification data   H,M,G
            41-42       Generating office               AA,…,ZZ (ST.3)
            43-50       For future use                  8 blanks
Former ST.10/C

        Former presentation
New Standard ST.10/C
 Document classified in the Advanced Level:

 (51)   Int. Cl.                     Italics Advanced Level
        B28B 5/00 (2006.01)          Bold Invention Information
        B28B 1/29 (2007.04)
        H05B 3/18 (2008.07)            Version Indicator

                          Non-bold  Additional Information
 Document classified in the Core Level:

 (51)   Int. Cl. (2006)              Regular Core Level
        B28B 5/00
        B28B 1/00
        H05B 3/10

IPC 8: invention information
  advanced           core
Future of reformed IPC
 Further elaboration by harmonization of ECLA, FI, USPC

 Further elaboration of electronic information layer

 Promote MCD
  non PCT-minimum offices to contribute

 September 2008: TF for “reform of reform”
  March 2009: Adoption by CE
Status / future of Reformed IPC
   Core/Advanced Level:      2011: core level → main groups
   Modified Revision Policy: 2011: only WG; priority to IP5
                              proposals; one new version/year
   Further refinement by harmonization of
    ECLA, USPC, FI: Ongoing
   MCD: Done
   Obligatory Reclassification PCT Minimum: Incomplete
   Definitions: Ongoing
   Software Tools to assist Classification Ongoing
Additional features of reformed IPC

 Residual places Done
 Changes to hybrid system Done
 Standardised sequence of main groups Done
 Version indicators Done
 Removal of informative references from scheme Ongoing
 Modified representation of classification information (ST.8)
 Amended recommendations for selecting classifications
  (Common Rule) Done

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