Authority File of Published Patent Documents Provided by Offices

  1. Introduction
  2. General remarks
  3. Definition file
  4. Dates provided
  5. Text format
  6. Schema format
  7. DTD format


The following guidelines aim to ensure that authority files provided to the International Bureau are both compliant with WIPO Standard ST.37 and consistent across Offices. This document is based on questions posed to the International Bureau since the launch of the authority file portal in 2019. The WIPO authority file portal can be accessed here:

The International Bureau assesses the validity of all authority files submitted by Offices against WIPO ST.37. There is at least one annual update of the WIPO Authority File portal in March of each year.

General remarks

The first step in drafting your authority file should be to reference WIPO ST.37. Recommendations are provided for authority files which are provided either in text format or XML format compliant with either the schema (WIPO ST.37 Annex III) or DTD (WIPO ST.37 Annex IV). It is important to note that authority files that are not compliant with WIPO Standard ST.37 will not be published on the WIPO Authority File portal.

It is always recommended that Offices provide their authority files compliant with the latest version of WIPO Standard ST.37, which can be found on the WIPO Standards page. However, authority files may be provided compliant with any version of WIPO Standard ST.37 if necessary.

The International Bureau will review authority files (and their updates) submitted by Offices before publication in the Authority File portal. If there are any issues with the authority files provided then WIPO will contact the Office to discuss any changes that are required. Once an authority file is compliant, it will be published in the next publication window. Typically there are two updates a year, with the first being in March.

A WIPO ST.37-compliant authority file requires four mandatory elements for each patent publication, as defined in WIPO Standard ST.37 paragraph 8: two-letter alphabetic code identifying the Office, publication number, kind code and publication date. However, it is highly recommended that application identification information defined in paragraph 9(c) of WIPO Standard ST.37 is also provided if available, as this information is valuable to users of the authority file.

Generally it is recommended that the authority file comprise a single file. However if there is a suitable reason why this cannot be implemented, then authority files which are comprised of more than one file can be accepted by the International Bureau.

Definition file

Although not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that Offices provide a definition file in addition to their authority file. The definition file provides useful information regarding the date coverage of the data file and provides definitions for exceptions codes, if used. A definition file can be provided (or hosted) in any number of formats, including text or HTML. It is recommended that Offices provide as much metadata information as possible in this file.

The following information may be included within your definition file:

  • Date of production;
  • Data coverage for the authority file;
  • Numbering formats used;
  • Basic statistics regarding patent publications prior to the relevant date range of the authority file submitted;
  • Whether application information is provided, where available;
  • Whether priority data has been included, where available;
  • Availability of abstract, description and claims of the publication in text-searchable format is indicated (through use of indication codes);
  • Additional remarks useful to the user of the authority file; and
  • Definition of publication Exception Codes where used.
For those Offices, which provide this information in XML format, compliant with the ST.37 schema or DTD, this information may provided within the instance itself.

Dates provided

Offices have several options for providing patent publication dates and patent filing dates. To ensure these dates are provided consistently across Offices, it is recommended that:

  • The filing date correspond to the date provided as INID code 22: the date of filing the application.
  • The publication date correspond to the date provided as INID code 41, the date of first publication prior to examination, for an 'A' publication and INID code 45, the issuance date, for a 'B' publication.

INID codes are defined in WIPO Standard ST.9.

Text format

Provision of authority file data sets in text format is the simplest means to provide patent publication information as part of an ST.37 compliant authority file. Guidance on providing your authority file in this format is provided in Annex II of WIPO ST.37. The following advice is provided for Offices providing their authority file in TXT format:

  1. Consideration should be given to the type of separators that are used between relevant components for each publication number entry. ST.37 recommends the use of commas, but every line entry must end with a carriage return and line-feed (<CTLF>). If implementing version 2.2, please note that there should be a space between each of the language codes for which a particular component of the patent specification is searchable.
  2. If the kind code information is not available (or not supplied), and version 2.2 is implemented, there must be a blank space followed by a comma proceeding the definition of three indicator codes.

Schema format

It is recommend to use the latest version of the flattened WIPO ST.37 schema, which is available as Annex III of WIPO ST.37.

There is no specific advice provided for use of the ST.37 schema, other than the general remarks on ST.37-compliant XML instances, which are explained below under the DTD implementation section.

DTD format

It is recommend to use the latest version of the WIPO ST.37 DTD, which is available as Annex IV of WIPO ST.37.

The following advice is provided for Offices who are providing their authority file in XML format compliant with the ST.37 DTD. The following descriptions are provided for the following specific DTD components:

  1. exception-code: corresponds to <pat:ExceptionCodeType> which has the following allowable values: C, D, E, M, N, P, R, U, W, X
  2. priority-kind-code (international | national | regional): corresponds to <pat:ApplicationFilingCategory>.
  3. kind: corresponds to <pat:PatentDocumentKindCode> Kind code of patent document defined in WIPO Standard ST.16. Also corresponds to ST.9 INID Code 13.
The exception code should only be used if (1) there is only a paper version available (2) there is some other problem. It should NOT be used to indicate the previous publication kind code.