Skip to main content
UCF Libraries Home


It is recommended that an attorney be consulted when an interpretation of the law is needed. UCF library staff are not able to provide any legal advice. Patent Assistance Information

Cooperative Patent Classification

Information on changes for patent searching from U.S. Patent Classification to Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

Why the switch to CPC:

The EPO and USPTO both had highly developed patent classification systems, the European CLAssification (ECLA) and the United States Patent Classification (USPC) respectively. CPC is the outcome of an ambitious harmonization effort to bring the best practices from each office together. In fact, most U.S. patent documents are already classified in ECLA. The conversion from ECLA to CPC at the EPO will ensure IPC compliance and eliminate the need for the EPO to classify U.S. patent documents. At the USPTO, the conversion will provide an up-to-date classification system that is internationally compatible.

For additional information:

News and information on Cooperative Patent Classification - EPO - USPTO
Publication Date: January 2013
Modeled on European Patent Classification (ECLA), but has more finely divided subjects than either ECLA or US Patent Classification (USPC). Search the CPC Manual at under "Classification"
Cooperative Patent Classification (in Esp@cenet)
Search by CPC code or by words/phrases from the CPC code descriptions. Esp@cenet also allows search by International Patent Classification (IPC). IPC numbers are similar to CPC but not as specific - use IPC for broader search, CPC for more precise search.
Information found on this page was obtained from Mr. Jim Miller's Lib Guide, Engineering & Physical Sciences, University of Maryland


Patent Reform Law/Leahy-Smith America Invests Act

To better understand the new law, click on the following links: