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INPADOC classification scheme

Today, the INPADOC database contains over 250 million legal event records and navigating this sea of data has become a challenge for users.

In response to this, the EPO has introduced a classification scheme for INPADOC legal events with the primary objectives of making it easier to understand the nature of these events and easier to retrieve this data. The scheme comprises a category level and a detailed level.

The EPO is implementing this two-tier structure in two phases. The main task in phase I, which is ongoing, was to classify 2 800 INPADOC legal event codes used since 1997 by category. This has been done, and now new codes are being added monthly. The EPO will classify the legal event codes by detailed structure, i.e. implement phase 2, at a later stage.

The INPADOC classification scheme consists of 21 categories, ranging from A (Application filing) to Y (Correction and deletion of event information) and to Z (Classification pending).

CategoryTitleCategory
Title

A

Application filing

P

Re-publication of document after modification

B

Application discontinuation

Q

Document publication

C

Application revival

R

Party data change

D

Search and examination

S

Information on licensing and similar transactions

E

Pre-grant review request

T

Administrative procedure adjustment

F

IP right grant

U

Payment

G

Protection beyond IP right term

V

Appeal

H

IP right cessation

W

Other

K

IP right revival

Y

Correction and deletion of event information

L

IP right review request

Z

Classification pending

M

IP right maintenance

   

List of the categories in the INPADOC classification scheme

For example, events related to applications for supplementary protection certificates are covered by the scheme in category G (Protection beyond IP right term), making it easier for users to retrieve legal event data regarding this important type of protection right.

There is also a 'list of categories of the INPADOC classification scheme' that provides a description of each category, examples of events belonging to the individual categories and additional comments for clarification.

The category level forms the top level of the scheme and is modelled on the category level of the WIPO ST.27 standard.

Events related to procedural steps not taken are generally assigned to the category covering the corresponding positive event. For example, for the 'non-entry into the national phase', the corresponding positive event is the 'entry into the national phase' covered in category A (Application filing). Accordingly, the 'non-entry into the national phase' is also covered in category A.

The category N (Termination) used in the WIPO ST.27 standard is not used in the INPADOC classification system because Category N of the standard is only intended for the final termination of an application or an IP right. However, as remedies against termination are generally available, it does not appear appropriate to use this category in the INPADOC classification.

Data classified according to the scheme is already visible in new Espacenet and searchable in Global Patent Index.

Further information

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