World Intellectual Property Organization

Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification

The Strasbourg Agreement establishes the International Patent Classification (IPC) which divides technology into eight sections with approximately 70,000 subdivisions. Classification is indispensable for the retrieval of patent documents in the search for "prior art". Such retrieval is needed by patent-issuing authorities, potential inventors, research and development units and others concerned with the application or development of technology.

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