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      DATE: June 21, 2002




Seventh Session
Geneva, June 10 to 21, 2002


adopted by the Working Group




1. The IPC Revision Working Group (hereinafter referred to as "the Working Group") held its seventh session in Geneva from June 10 to 21, 2002. The following members of the Working Group were represented at the session: Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, United States of America, African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), European Patent Office (EPO) (21). The list of participants appears as Annex A to this report.

2. The session was opened by Mr. M. Makarov, Deputy Director, International Patent Classification Section, Office of the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty), WIPO, who welcomed the participants on behalf of the Director General.



3. The Working Group unanimously elected Mr. H. Wongel (EPO) as Chair and Mr. M. Price (United Kingdom) as Vice-Chair for 2002.


4. Mr. A. Farassopoulos (WIPO) acted as Secretary of the session.



5. The Working Group unanimously adopted the agenda, which appears as Annex B to this report.



6. As decided by the Governing Bodies of WIPO at their tenth series of meetings held from September 24 to October 2, 1979 (see document AB/X/32, paragraphs 51 and 52), the report of this session reflects only the conclusions of the Working Group (decisions, recommendations, opinions, etc.) and does not, in particular, reflect the statements made by any participant, except where a reservation in relation to any specific conclusion of the Working Group was expressed or repeated after the conclusion was reached.



7. The Working Group noted an oral report by the Secretariat on the thirty-first session of the IPC Committee of Experts (hereinafter referred to as "the Committee") (see document IPC/CE/31/8), at which session the Committee had adopted amendments to the seventh edition of the IPC relating to 26 subclasses. The Working Group was informed that the Committee had considered a progress report on the suspended revision projects, submitted by the Trilateral Offices which are responsible for those projects, and had noted that several projects had been reaching a stage where they could be brought back to the Working Group. The Trilateral Offices had been requested to periodically submit progress reports to the Working Group on the suspended revision projects.

8. The Working Group noted that the Committee had considered a report of its Task Force on Classification of Traditional Knowledge and agreed with its conclusion that the most efficient way of developing classification tools for traditional knowledge would be their integration into the IPC. In this respect, the Committee had instructed the Task Force to start preparation of an IPC revision proposal regarding classification of traditional knowledge documentation and to submit the revision proposal for consideration by the eighth session of the Working Group at the end of 2002, with a view to its inclusion in the IPC revision program.



9. The Working Group noted an oral report by the Secretariat on the seventh session of the ad hoc IPC Reform Working Group (see document IPC/REF/7/3). The Working Group was informed, in particular, that a procedure for the systematic maintenance of the IPC and a proposal for systematic creation of places for residual subject matter were under consideration.

10. The Working Group was further informed that the ad hoc IPC Reform Working Group had adopted the Guidelines for Determining Subject Matter Appropriate for Obligatory and Non-Obligatory Classification and a recommendation on the most appropriate duration of revision cycles. Finally the Working Group noted the impact of the reformed IPC on the front page of patent documents.



11. The Working Group considered the Summary of Discussions of the Task Force meeting on Classification Definitions, held in Geneva in May 2002 (see Annex I to document IPC/WG/7/2). In particular, the Working Group noted the replies of the Task Force (see points (a) to (e) in the said Annex I) to the questions raised by the Working Group at its sixth session (see paragraph 9 of document IPC/WG/6/5) and agreed with the conclusions of the Task Force.

12. The Working Group considered a proposal, submitted by Sweden, for a definition of the scope of places in the IPC and for categorization and placement of references (see Annex III to document IPC/WG/7/2). It was recommended that this proposal be carefully considered by the Task Force on the revision of the Guide to the IPC.

13. The Guidelines for Drafting Subclass Definition Proposals prepared by the International Bureau were provisionally approved (see Annex F to this report). Their final consideration would be made at the next session of the Working Group. In particular, offices were requested to comment on the proposals by Sweden:

14. The Working Group agreed that Rapporteurs on definition projects should bear in mind Sweden's proposal when drafting definitions and report on their experience in listing references in the definitions.

15. It was further noted that experience on rearrangement of subclass indexes according to the Standardized Sequence of Main Groups should be discussed at the next session of the Working Group. A special project should then be initiated in order to achieve that rearrangement for all IPC subclasses by the end of the current revision period.

16. The Working Group discussed informally how to efficiently proceed with the rearrangement of subclass indexes according to the Standardized Sequence of Main Groups, in order to prepare background for the detailed discussion of this matter at its next session and for the creation of the special project aimed at the rearrangement of all the subclass indexes in the IPC. The Working Group noted that the International Bureau would prepare and publish on the IPC revision list server a draft of the summary of discussions and would invite comments on the draft so as to achieve approval of the summary of discussions by electronic correspondence. The summary of discussion would then be published as a preparatory document for the next session of the Working Group.

17. The Working Group reaffirmed the procedure for discussion and adoption of definition projects (see Annex F to document IPC/WG/5/3 and paragraph 11 of document IPC/WG/6/5) and agreed on the following actions until its next session:

18. The Working Group noted that, based on the results of approval of definition projects, the International Bureau could convene informal meetings of the Definition Task Force including technical experts, to discuss the non-approved projects, during the next session of the Working Group.

19. The members of the Working Group were invited to propose subclasses for new definition projects, based on the criteria to be submitted by the International Bureau, at the next session of the Working Group.



20. The Working Group recalled its decision, taken at the sixth session of the Working Group, to carry out automatic repointing of references from core level entries to advanced level entries, by their repointing to hierarchically superior places in the core level, with the exception of references for which the intellectual correction was required. The Working Group noted that, following its request, the International Bureau had conducted automatic repointing of all references from core level entries to advanced level entries and made the results available for review on the IBIS site at the address "www.wipo.int/IBIS/outpointers/". The Working Group agreed that, for certain redirected references, some amendments of their wordings would be desirable in the future.

21. The Working Group noted that the International Bureau had compiled a list of complex cases, including IPC hierarchical entries and notes, where intellectual consideration of the wordings or references was necessary. This list appears in Annex G to this report. The Working Group agreed on the following distribution of work relating to the list among volunteering offices:

Sections A and C: Ireland;

Sections B, D, E and F: Sweden;

Sections G and H: EPO.

22. The Working Group requested the volunteering offices to submit results of their work on the correction of notes and references by October 1, 2002. Comments on the submitted results were invited by November 1, 2002.

23. The Working Group noted that the International Bureau, when carrying out automatic repointing of references from core level entries to advanced level entries, had identified two special types of redirected references, namely, X-type references and P-type references and compiled these references in separate tables available on the IBIS Web site. The Secretariat explained that X-type references represented the situation where the redirection resulted in an IPC entry which was identical to the source entry or was the hierarchically parent entry of the source entry, and that the P-type references represented precedence references.

24. It was noted that some P-type references included in the table did not belong to precedence references because the string "take(s) precedence" used by the selection program could appear in the sequence of several references and that many P-type references represented at the same time X-type references.

25. The Working Group agreed that all X-type and P-type references required careful consideration and requested its members to conduct a review of those references and to submit results of the review by October 1, 2002. Comments on the results of the review were invited by November 1, 2002.

26. The Working Group agreed that possible solutions for X-type references would be their deletion or move of respective IPC groups between the core and the advanced levels, and for P-type references their conversion to appropriate limiting references or the moving of respective groups between the levels.



27. Discussions were based on document IPC/WG/7/4 containing the results of pilot projects on converting indexing schemes to classification schemes, which were reported by Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the EPO and on a paper distributed at the session, containing comments by the United States of America on the proposals submitted.

28. The Working Group discussed individually the pilot projects and arrived at the following conclusions on each one of them:

Subclass A 61 K - It was confirmed that the indexing codes A 61 K 121:00 to 123:00 should be abolished. Sweden would submit a modified proposal relating to the indexing scheme A 61 K 101:00 to 103:00 in compliance with the Guidelines for the Conversion of Existing IPC Indexing Schemes into Classification Schemes (see document IPC/REF/6/2, Annex V).

Subclass C 02 F - It was confirmed that the indexing scheme C 02 F 101:00 to 103:00 should be retained in the advanced level of the reformed IPC. Comments from the United States of America should be taken into account during future revision of this scheme in the framework of the revision of the advanced level.

Subclass C 03 C - It was noted that new notes to be created for using the existing double-purpose entries for classification of additional information should not introduce new rules and classification philosophy in the field in question. Comments were invited on the consolidated proposal submitted by Germany.

Subclass C 04 B - It was confirmed that the indexing scheme C 04 B 101:00 should be abolished and that the indexing schemes C 04 B 103:00 and 111:00 should be retained. It was noted that the notes to be introduced for using the existing double-purpose entries for classification of additional information should be simplified and their detailed explanation should be introduced in the classification definition for subclass C 04 B. It was further noted that the EPO would submit a modified proposal on these notes, citing examples illustrating the use of the notes.

Subclass C 07 D - It was noted that existing notes for using double-purpose entries resulted in attribution of many symbols per patent document in this area and some simplification of the notes could be needed. Germany volunteered to submit a modified proposal relating to this subclass.

29. It was agreed that future proposals for the treatment of hybrid systems should follow the said Guidelines for the Conversion of Existing IPC Indexing Schemes into Classification Schemes and the recommendations of the ad hoc IPC Reform Working Group (see document IPC/WG/6/5, Annex G). In order to provide more guidance in this work, the Working Group approved a procedure for the treatment of hybrid systems in the IPC (see Annex H to this report).

 30. In view of the limited resources of industrial property offices, the Working Group agreed that priority, at the current stage, should be given to the treatment of double-purpose schemes and noted the distribution of work relating to those schemes (see Annex I to this report). The Working Group also noted the offices which volunteered to elaborate, at a later stage, proposals relating to separate indexing schemes (see the said Annex I) and invited its members to consider participation with regard to other separate indexing schemes.

31. The Working Group noted that, by July 15, 2002, the International Bureau would create "Hybrid" H projects on the IPC e-forum. Offices conducting pilot projects were requested to submit modified proposals and offices participating in the work related to double-purpose schemes to submit initial proposals by September 1, 2002. Comments on the proposals were invited by October 1, 2002, and the rapporteur reports by October 20, 2002.



32. The Working Group noted the comments submitted by its members on the collection of illustrating chemical formulae provided by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and expressed its thanks to the industrial property offices participating in this project for the huge work done in reviewing the collection containing more than 5,000 formulae. The Working Group underlined that introduction of illustrating chemical formulae in the IPC would be beneficial not only for industrial property offices but also for the general public by facilitating access to the IPC for non-experts in chemistry.

33. The Working Group noted that, in a significant number of formulae, estimated as from 30 to 50 percent of the whole set, a commenting office had indicated some clerical errors in the initial collection, such as missing chemical bonds or atoms, or had proposed other formulae as better illustrating classification entries in question.

34. In discussing possible ways of completing the project, the Working Group considered a proposal submitted by Germany (see the Annex to document IPC/WG/7/5) to appoint an office-rapporteur for each area of the IPC where illustrating chemical formulae were available. The Working Group agreed that such a procedure, representing a simplified IPC revision procedure, would be sufficient for obtaining a collection of chemical formulae of high quality.

35. The Working Group indicated that the task of the Rapporteur should be to review those parts of the collection of formulae where a commenting office indicated clerical errors in the formulae or disagreed with KIPO with regard to an example which should illustrate the IPC group and proposed another example. The Rapporteur should select the most appropriate example from those available.

36. The Working Group designated offices-rapporteurs for each subclass included in the collection as shown in Annex J to this report.

37. With regard to the presentation of illustrating chemical formulae, the Working Group came to the following conclusions on the basis of the experience accumulated in the project:

38. The Secretariat informed the Working Group that the comments submitted in the framework of this project are collected on the IBIS site at the following address: "http://www.wipo.int/ibis/temp/chem-2002-jun/", and that offices-rapporteurs were allowed to use any format for the presentation of chemical formulae but ISIS Draw and Chemsketch formats were preferable. Chemical images could be embedded in the Word-format document. The Secretariat also informed that standardization of the presentation of chemical formulae in the IPC could be later carried out under the CLAIMS project.

39. Offices-rapporteurs were invited to send their reports to the IPC revision list server and to include in the subject line of the e-mail message the string "chemical formulae" and the subclass covered, for easy selection of messages relating to illustrating chemical formulae. The Secretariat informed of the availability of the IPC Webforum (http://webforum.wipo.int/ipc) for informal discussions of IPC-related matters and encouraged the members of the Working Group to use the Webforum for exchanging views on the selection of appropriate chemical formulae under this project.

40. Finally, the Working Group requested the offices-rapporteurs to submit their reports by November 1, 2002, for discussion of the results of the project at its next session.




41. The Working Group discussed 19 pending IPC revision projects and approved amendments relating to those projects (see Annexes 1 to 32 to this report). The decisions of the Working Group with respect to those projects are listed in Annex C to this report, and further information with respect to some of these decisions is given in paragraph 43, below. A list indicating to which classes or subclasses amendments have been approved during the revision period appears as Annex D to this report. Changes to amendments approved at earlier sessions are indicated in Annex E to this report.

42. The Working Group had before it, in particular, document IPC/WG/6/5 and the relevant project files.


IPC Revision Projects

43. The Working Group made the following observations, in addition to the decisions set forth in Annex C to this report, with respect to the IPC revision projects:

Project C 278 (mechanical) - In connection with the amendments relating to subclass B 32 B, the Working Group discussed possible changes to notes in class B 29 and its subclasses. It was agreed that those notes were not sufficiently clear and that their additional study was needed. The Working Group decided, therefore, to limit the modifications to the notes existing in subclasses B 29 C and B 29 D by clarifications required by the revision of subclass B 32 B and recommended creating classification definitions projects for subclasses of class B 29, where the notes should be further investigated and clarified. The Working Group indicated that changes to the notes, if necessary, could be made later, in the framework of the IPC systematic maintenance procedure.

Project C 350 (mechanical) - It was decided that there was no need in introducing in the title of subclass B 27 N the proposed reference to group C 08 J 9/00, in view of the absence of the overlap between those places, and that the Project was completed. It was noted that the relationship between subclasses B 27 N and C 08 J should be investigated under the classification definitions Project D 003 for subclass C 08 J.

Project C 367 (mechanical) - In view of the decision of the IPC Committee of Experts to refer back to the Working Group the amendments to subclass E 04 G proposed under Project C 367 (see document IPC/CE/31/8, paragraph 10), certain changes to this subclass were made, including the deletion of the existing groups E 04 G 3/02 to 3/16 (see Annex 10E to this report).

Project C 371 (mechanical) - The Working Group noted drawings, provided by Sweden, for illustrating subject matter covered by main group F 23 B 18/00 and expressed its gratitude to Sweden for the initiative of introducing drawings in the mechanical area of the IPC. The Working Group noted the ongoing project of introducing illustrating formulae in

the chemical area of the IPC and indicated that illustrating drawings would also be very useful

in the mechanical and electrical areas as facilitating access to the IPC. The Working Group requested, therefore, its members to consider submission of illustrating drawings in the framework of IPC revision and classification definitions projects.

The Working Group noted that short explanations were provided by Sweden together with the drawings and requested its members to submit such explanations in both English and French languages so as to facilitate introduction of the illustrating material in the electronic layer of the IPC.

Comments were invited on the correctness of the submitted drawings, their presentation, use of explanations and acceptable drawing formats.

The Working Group noted that elaboration of the revised structure of subclass F 23 B had been completed and that its classification structure followed the standardized sequence of main groups in IPC subclasses. The Working Group agreed that the revised subclass F 23 B could represent a model of new subclasses in the reformed IPC and that its structure made possible the use of the top-to-bottom priority rule in this area.

The Working Group noted that the ad hoc IPC Reform Working Group intended to carry out tests of this rule in the revised areas of the IPC and expressed the opinion that subclass F 23 B would also be appropriate for such testing. In this regard, the Delegation of Sweden volunteered to conduct the test in subclass F 23 B by classifying a set of patent documents with the use of the top-to-bottom priority rule and without this rule and to report on the results of the test.

Project C 379 (electrical) - In response to the question raised at its sixth session (see Annex 58 to the project file) the Working Group agreed that there was no overlap between groups H 01 H 13/80 and 13/803 and noted that the project was completed.

Project C 395 (mechanical) - The Delegation of the EPO gave a status report concerning Project C 395 which had been suspended on the revision program since the Trilateral Offices had been instructed to continue its elaboration. The Delegation indicated that agreement on the classification scheme had been reached and the project (Trilateral Project T 017) had entered phase D of the trilateral classification harmonization procedure (testing of the provisional scheme). The Delegation explained that the project would be finalized in time for the next session of the Working Group and would be submitted to the Working Group for approval. The Delegation also informed that in respect of the suspended Projects C 419 and C 420 substantial progress had already been made.

Project C 410 (electrical) - The Working Group approved a number of amendments to subclass H 02 P (see Annex 23E to this report).

Comments were invited on:

- the correctness of the transfer note for the deleted group H 02 P 19/00;

- whether the informative references existing in the deleted group H 02 P 19/02 were needed in the new group H 02 P 29/02.

Project C 412 (chemical) - A number of amendments to the new main group A 61 K 8/00 were approved (see Annex 24E to this report).

Comments were invited on:

- whether the new group 8/892 covered a sufficient number of documents to be retained in the classification scheme;

- which examples would be desirable to introduce in the new group 8/899 in order to illustrate its contents.

The Working Group also approved certain amendments to the classification scheme of the new subclass A 61 Q created at its sixth session and introduced subdivisions of its main groups (see Annex 26E to this report).

Comments were invited on:

- whether any precedence references were needed between the new groups 1/02 and 1/12;

- how the borderline between the new groups 5/06 and 5/10 in respect of subject matter relating to "temporary colouring or dyeing the hair" could be clarified and whether additional examples should be introduced for this purpose.

Comments were also invited on whether the existing group A 61 P 17/16 should be deleted, in view of its insignificant file size.

Project C 413 (chemical) - Comments were invited on the rapporteur report (see Annex 66 to the project file), in particular on the questions raised by the Rapporteur.

Comments were also invited on the new catchwords proposed by the EPO under this Project (see document IPC/WG/7/6, Annex II).

Project C 416 (mechanical) - With regard to the list of references in the new Notes following the titles of subclasses F 01 M and F 16 N (see Annex 21 to the project file), the Working Group agreed to retain those references in the scheme of the IPC. It was noted that definition Projects D 041 and D 042 relating to those subclasses were carried out. The Working Group agreed that Project C 416 was completed.

Project C 417 (mechanical) - Comments were invited on (see Annex 30, relating to subclass F 23 C, to this report):

- the correctness of the amended wording of group 7/00 in light of its intended scope and whether the amendment of the wording resulted in the change of scope of the group;

- the correctness of the wording of the new group 13/06, in light of its intended scope;

- where apparatus in which combustion takes place in a fluidised bed of catalytic material should be classified and whether, for example, a group covering such apparatus should be introduced in main group 13/00. It was noted that Sweden intended to submit a proposal relating to such a group;

- whether in the titles of subgroups of the existing group F 23 C 1/00 the word "or" should be replaced by the word "and," in light of the expression "simultaneously or alternately" used in the title of group F 23 C 1/00.

Project C 422 (chemical) - Following the proposal submitted by the United States of America (see Annex 48 to the project file), the Working Group agreed to rearrange subdivisions of the new subclass C 40 B, which had been created at the fifth session of the Working Group, according to the standardized sequence of main groups in IPC subclasses, approved by the ad hoc IPC Reform Working Group (see document IPC/REF/4/4, Annex IV).

The new structure of subclass C 40 B is presented in Annex 32 to this report.

The Working Group also agreed on certain subdivisions of main groups 1/00 and 3/00 of subclass C 40 B (see the said Annex 32).

Comments were invited on whether the creation of the new group 3/04 under main group 3/00 was needed, in view of its possible overlap with the new groups 3/06 to 3/10.

The EPO was invited to submit a consolidated proposal on desirable subdivisions of main groups 5/00, 7/00 and 11/00, on the basis of the proposals submitted by the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States of America (see Annexes 49, 52 and 55 to the project file, respectively), and taking into account the possibility of creating a new main group covering "linkers, carriers and chemical identifiers" for combinatorial chemistry.

Comments were invited on the consolidated proposal to be submitted.



44. Discussions were based on document IPC/WG/7/6, containing proposals for the introduction of new catchwords in the official catchword indexes.

45. The Working Group approved the proposal submitted by the Russian Federation, relating to Project C 419. The Delegation of the Russian Federation volunteered to submit a French version of approved catchwords, in time for the next session of the Working Group.



46. The Secretariat made a presentation of recent developments introduced in the new IPC management system IBIS and explained facilities provided by the system to support the IPC reform and revision work. The Working Group expressed its high appreciation of the development of the IBIS system.

47. To illustrate the problems related to the integration of the Definitions into the electronic layer of the IPC a development "spike" was demonstrated by the Secretariat. This "spike" (presentation "mock-up") demonstrated problems related to the various solutions. Basically two solutions could be developed: the display of the Definitions could be synchronized with the display of the classification scheme or static links could be provided from the scheme to the Definitions. The Glossary entries and Keywords could be back-linked from the Scheme to the Definitions. The back linking would be carried out using offline pre-processing.

48. During the demonstration, it was highlighted that comments from the IPC community concerning the IBIS beta3 and beta4 versions were appreciated, since the maintenance team is working currently on the merging of the two solutions developed independently. When merging the two solutions, an offline pre-processing environment would be developed thus helping offices having difficulties in reproducing the Apache Cocoon software environment of IBIS, but having interest in handling the IPC XML files. This environment would be available in the next two months for the interested offices.

49. IBIS beta3 and beta4 are available from the "www.wipo.int/ibis/index.htm" page from under the heading "Request for feedback." The following issues can be addressed in the comments:

- look and feel of the two versions (generic impressions);

- language and database links (more or less is needed);

- separation of the language and database links (single window or separate menus);

- maingroup truncation when linking to patent databases (single rule or database specific rules);

- synchronization of the chemical images with the display of the scheme (desirable or not);

- the Mozilla and Opera support (desirable or not);

- graphic symbols (clear or ambiguous).

50. The Secretariat encouraged the use of the recently implemented IPC Webforum (webforum.wipo.int/ipc) for commenting. The Webforum efficiently supports threaded discussions. The IPC e-forum is a document submission and document management facility which handles official documents. Similarly information sent to the IPC list servers was generally considered as official information. In contrast to the IPC e-forum and the IPC list servers, user comments posted on the IPC Webforum would not be considered as official positions. When using Webforum, the user would express his or her views in the capacity of an independent IPC expert belonging to the IPC community.



51. The Chair assessed the status of the Tasks assigned to the Working Group and stated that 19 revision projects on the agenda of this session (see Annex B to this report) had been dealt with in a satisfactory way. The Chair indicated that Annex C to this report gave the status of each revision project and brief information on actions to follow. He also pointed out that, at this session, the Working Group had continued an important work program of the implementation of the results of IPC reform, including elaboration of classification definitions, checking notes and references for the reformed IPC, conversion of indexing schemes to classification schemes and introduction of illustrating chemical formulae in the electronic layer of the IPC.



52. The Working Group assessed the workload expected to be before it at its next session (see paragraph 53, below) and agreed to devote the first three days of the first week to the chemical field, the remainder of that week to the electrical field and the first two days of the second week to the mechanical field.

53. The Working Group noted the tentative dates for its eighth session: November 25 to December 5, 2002.

54. This report was unanimously adopted by the Working Group at its closing meeting on June 21, 2002.


[Annexes follow]