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EPO and USPTO renew their commitment to joint classification scheme

Geneva, 6 October 2015

President Benoît Battistelli of the European Patent Office (EPO) and Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Michelle Lee renewed their commitment on the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding extending their cooperation to the future.

The Cooperative Patent Classification is a joint EPO-USPTO endeavour to harmonise the way that patent documents are classified by patent offices for their easy retrieval in the patent search process.

"With 19 patent offices around the world, including China and Korea, having already committed to the CPC, this joint project has been an overwhelming success since its official launch on 1 January 2013. It is a milestone in assuring a continued high quality in the patent system" said EPO President Battistelli.

"This MOU memorializes one of the most significant accomplishments in our long-standing bilateral cooperation with the EPO. The success of the CPC speaks volumes for the future of work sharing and international cooperation," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Michelle K. Lee.

The CPC is a refined classification scheme building on the International Patent Classification (IPC) allowing technical prior art to be more finely classified and thereby more easily retrieved, irrespective of the language.

Together with other initiatives such as machine translation, the CPC has facilitated access to technology around the world, independent of language, thereby contributing to increasing efficiencies in the global patent system.

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