Making CPC available at the time of publication

The EPO is now also making Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) allocations available on the day of publication on published EP documents.

This request had been a long-standing wish from our users and is in line with the EPO's aim of providing as much complete and correct data as possible in a timely manner.

Since week 3/2022 (publication date of 19 January 2022) the CPC symbols assigned to European patent applications by the EPO have been included in the PDF documents of European patent applications (EP A publications) and European patents (EP B publications). Up to 15 CPC symbols are displayed on the cover page of these publications. If there are more CPC allocations, the remaining symbols are displayed at the end of the bibliographic section on an additional page, together with combination sets (C-Sets) where available.


The Cooperative Patent Classification entered into force on 1 January 2013. So far, the EPO has made the CPC available through various EPO web applications and data products such as Espacenet, the Global Patent Index (GPI) and the EPO's DOCDB XML exchange product.

Under its Strategic Plan 2023, the EPO has been making particular efforts to better serve its users, and by adapting its classification tools and processes, over 80% of EPO applications are now fully classified by the time they are published.

As a result, in 2021, the CPC was introduced in the European Publication Server, the European Patent Bulletin, the EP bibliographic data (EBD) and the European Patent Register, as communicated in the Official Journal of the EPO (OJ EPO 2021, A52).

CPC symbols allocated by the EPO and other offices have been made available in EPO services, such as DOCDB XML, Espacenet and the European Patent Register.


The following document is an example of CPC allocations added to the title page of an EP A publication. CPC invention symbols are displayed in bold (CPC First, then other CPC invention symbols in alphabetical order), followed by CPC additional symbols in normal font and in alphabetical order.

 cpc keyvisual 1

(click to enlarge) 

Below is a more complex example of CPC symbols on the title page of an EP B publication. The notes (C-Sets available) and (Cont.) at the beginning and end of the CPC section, respectively, indicate that there are C-Sets and that additional CPC information is available at the end of the bibliographic section of the EP B document.

cpc keyvisual 2

(click to enlarge) 

The continuation of CPC information is displayed on an additional page of the same EP B publication, as shown below:

cpc keyvisual 3

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