USPTO and KIPO Announce Launch of Cooperative Patent Classification System Pilot

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced the launch of a new pilot in which KIPO will classify some of its patent documents using the Cooperative Patent Classification system (CPC), a new classification system jointly managed by the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO). KIPO is the first foreign patent office to engage with the USPTO and EPO in this new system, which debuted on January 1, 2013.

The pilot between KIPO and the USPTO marks a major first step towards KIPO classifying its patent collection using the CPC. For the pilot, KIPO will apply the CPC classification to patent documents in particular technologies, namely, technologies for which filings have been especially active at KIPO. KIPO will work together with the USPTO to identify these technologies.

“The USPTO looks forward to working with KIPO as it begins the process of classifying documents into the Cooperative Patent Classification system,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea. “This pilot program highlights the excellent bilateral relationship and spirit of cooperation between USPTO and KIPO, which allows our offices to achieve significant benefits for the innovation community.”

KIPO Commissioner Young-min Kim said, “KIPO expects that the pilot project will help improve the quality of examination at both offices by enabling examiners to retrieve Korean patent documents more effectively. Furthermore, it will lay the foundation for deepening bilateral patent cooperation between KIPO and the USPTO.”

Since October 2010, the USPTO and EPO have worked jointly to develop a common, internationally compatible classification system to be used by both offices in various examination-related processes in an ongoing effort to enhance efficiency through work-sharing initiatives and reduce unnecessary duplication of work.

For non-press inquiries about CPC, contact Christopher Kim at (571)272-7980 or


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