The European Patent Office (EPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) both have highly developed patent classification systems. The Cooperative patent classification (CPC) is an effort to bring the best practices from each Office together to migrate towards a common classification scheme. The conversion from ECLA to CPC at the EPO is to ensure International Patent Classification system (IPC) compliance and eliminate the need for the EPO to classify U.S. patent documents. At the USPTO, the conversion provides an up-to date classification system that is internationally compatible. The migration to CPC is developed based in large part on the existing European Classification System (ECLA) and is to be modified to ensure compliance with the International Patent Classification system (IPC) standards administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The CPC will provide significant benefit to stakeholders for developing a transparent and harmonized approach to a global classification system for patent documents and make the search process more effective.