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Relations internationales : Cooperative Patent Classification
 

Classification des brevets

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Patent databases contain a wealth of information about technology, and with over 80 million patent documents the EPO's Espacenet worldwide database is one of the largest collections of technical information in the world. To make searching easier, patent applications are classified by technical area.

Here we look at current issues in patent classification, including the tagging schemes developed by the EPO to identify technologies that span multiple technical fields.

Nanotechnology

Its interdisciplinary nature means that the literature – especially patent documents – is difficult for searchers to retrieve. The EPO has therefore introduced "Y01N" tags to label nanotechnology in EPO databases. Recently Y01N became B82Y.

Climate change mitigation technologies

The EPO has also established a dedicated classification scheme ("Y02") to cover what can be referred to as climate-change mitigation technologies, as well as relating to "Smart grid" technologies.

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