Second USPTO Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) External User Day

The USPTO hosted a Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) External User Day event at its Alexandria Campus on December 14, 2012. A recording from the December event is now available: December 14, 2012 CPC User Day Event.

Since October 2010, the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO) have been collaborating to develop the CPC system, which is a joint patent classification system that incorporates the best classification practices of the two Offices. The CPC system will make the patent application examination process more efficient for both USPTO and EPO applicants. The USPTO and the EPO published in October 2012 the CPC launch package, which includes the complete CPC system and finalized CPC definitions. The December 14, 2012 event provided external stakeholders with in-depth information about the October 2012 CPC launch package, as well as insight into upcoming CPC training platforms, in advance of the official launch of the CPC system in January 2013.

This was the second CPC event undertaken by the USPTO to educate and inform external stakeholders about the CPC system. At the first event, held July 10, 2012, over 135 in-person and virtual attendees participated in an agenda that included several presentations by USPTO executive staff and CPC project managers. The July 2012 event provided the audience with a general introduction and overview of the CPC initiative, as well as information concerning external user interaction, accessibility, training, outreach, and the CPC implementation timeline.

At the December 14, 2012 event, attendees gained a better understanding of CPC hierarchical structure and classification rules. Attendees were provided a CPC publication document mock-up and a PubEAST search tool mock-up. Attendees were briefed on the four computer-based training modules that will be required for all examiners, as well as the nature and accessibility of training modules and workshops that will be made available to external stakeholders.

The CPC system was launched in both the USPTO and the EPO on January 2, 2013. At the USPTO, there is a two-year transitional period during which both the USPC system and CPC systems will be running in parallel to allow USPTO examiners sufficient opportunity to learn and transition to the CPC scheme. For further information about the CPC, please visit

Event Date

The event was held on Friday, December 14, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) through 12:00 p.m. EST.

Event Address

The event was held at the USPTO in the Madison Auditorium on the concourse level of the Madison Building located at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.


The agenda from the CPC External User Day is available here.

Supplementary Information

The CPC system has been designed to enable patent examiners and patent system users worldwide to conduct more efficient prior art searches. It provides an increased number of breakdowns compared to the current U.S. Patent Classification System (USPC) allowing for targeted searches with more focused results. It is expected to lead to enhanced efficiency through work sharing initiatives designed to reduce unnecessary duplication of work. Additionally, revisions to the CPC system will be made by both Offices on a regular basis allowing for a rapid response to filing trends and emerging technologies.

The October 2012 CPC launch package included the complete CPC system and finalized CPC definitions. CPC definitions contain a description of the technical subject matter covered in a particular subclass. The October 2012 CPC launch package contained 59 finalized CPC definitions. Remaining CPC definitions will be released in batches as they are finalized. Eventually, each CPC subclass will have a corresponding CPC definition that will be continuously maintained. The October 2012 CPC launch package also included a European Classification System (ECLA) to CPC to International Patent Classification (IPC) concordance table. The concordance table will help users find the relevant IPC area on which the CPC system is based.

To view the October 2012 CPC launch package, please visit


Wynn Coggins, Director of Technology Center (TC) 2800, by telephone at 571-272-1850, or by e-mail at; Derris Banks, Supervisory Patent Examiner, TC 3700, by telephone at (571) 272-4419, or by e-mail at; or Linda Dvorak, Supervisory Patent Examiner, TC 3700, by telephone at (571) 272-4764, or by e-mail at