International Patent Classification (IPC)

The International Patent Classification (IPC), established by the Strasbourg Agreement 1971, provides for a hierarchical system of language independent symbols for the classification of patents and utility models according to the different areas of technology to which they pertain. A new version of the IPC enters into force each year on January 1.  Find out more about the IPC.

Supporting resources

Assistance tools to the IPC

IPCCAT - A categorization assistance tool for the IPC system mainly designed to help to classify patents at IPC class, subclass or main group level.

STATS - A tool which provides IPC predictions based on statistical analysis of the patent documents containing the specified search terms.

IPC Green Inventory - Facilitates searches for patent information relating to Environmentally Sound Technologies.

Training

Upon request, WIPO provides intensive training to the staff of national or regional industrial property offices in the use of the IPC for classifying and searching.

Also available, training examples prepared by the IPC Revision Working Group and PowerPoint presentations addressing different issues relating to the use of the IPC.

Download and IT support

All master files used to generate the online version of the IPC Classification (and other related files) are freely available for download.

Related links

PATENTSCOPE database

Using PATENTSCOPE you can search through more than 30 million patent documents including 2.2 million international patent applications submitted under the PCT.

Other International Classifications

  • Nice (goods and services for registration of marks)
  • Vienna (figurative elements of marks)
  • Locarno (industrial designs)

WIPO standards

WIPO’s Handbook on Industrial Property Information and Documentation is the authoritative source of the Organization’s standards, recommendations and guidelines in the field of industrial property information and documentation.

Artificial intelligence at WIPO

Find out how artificial intelligence, big data analytics and new technologies such as blockchain can be used to address the growing challenges facing IP offices.