Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Patent Classification Systems

Intellectual Property

Patent classification is used by the various patent offices around the world to ensure an ordered way of patent information arrangement whether the information consists of patent applications or registered patents. The patent classification system of one country is not necessarily the same as used in another country, but there is a general trend of using internationally agreed classification systems for uniformity and easy of information retrieval. One should take note that a single invention can be filed under numerous classes. The patent classification system is standardised to ensure usability. If it wasn’t the case, one would struggle to find the information again. The IPC, which stands for the International Patent Classification system is used worldwide. There are also other classification systems in use such as the ECLA which is the European Classification system used by the European Patent Office and which is also an adaptation of the International Patent Classification system.

The IPC came into being as the outcome of the 1971 Strasbourg Agreement and it consists of specific symbols used for the arrangement of patents and also models according the area of technology. In the United States a specific office manages the patent classification system. South Africa also makes use and acknowledges the IPC system. The idea behind arrangement of documents in classes regarding the specific format and also area of technology is also to ensure that the classifiers, librarians and any person working with patents will have a standardised method of arranging documents. It is also done to ensure that information stored can be retrieved again. It certainly does help if a person is familiar with how the various patent classification systems work.

Posted on 8 February 2011
Home / Blog / Patent Classification Systems

View our Awards & Listings

MIP IP Stars   WTR   Global Chambers   Lexology  I AM PATENT   WWL

Intellectual Property in South Africa

Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio. We can assist with the protection, prosecution and enforcement thereof. It is our mission to provide unparalleled service to our treasured clients by developing dynamic solutions which are tailored to suit individual Intellectual Property needs. The key to achieving this lies with our vibrant people, who are eager to go beyond the call of duty.

Patent Attorneys
It is highly recommended that your claims be written by a qualified patent attorney or patent agent. The patent attorneys at Smit & Van Wyk provide a wide range of patent-related services across multiple industries and fields of technologies, including patent drafting, filing and prosecution.

South Africa Intellectual Property
Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio.

Franchise Attorneys
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

PCT National Phase Patents
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.