Intellectual property – guidance

Patent classification

Using the international patent, UK patent and cooperative patent classification schemes.

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As a patent granting authority we perform searches on UK patent applications. We use classification schemes to help narrow down our search. We classify all applications before we publish them so that the classification information is available on the day of publication.

We classify UK patent applications by their technical content. There are several patent classification schemes that can be used and currently we apply the international patent classification to all our applications.

We used to apply our own UK patent classification but following a public consultation we decided to stop doing this from 1 July 2007.

Use this guide to find out about the different classification schemes.