Welcome to the new version of the Patents Manual. Please note there are changes to the numbering and sequence of the chapters and pages in the manual. You are encouraged to take the time to explore and familiarise yourself with this new structure. Function-Oriented and Application-Oriented Places

Date Published

The IPC system discriminates between two fundamental categories of technical subjects: Function-oriented place and Application-oriented place.

Function-oriented place provides places for classifying:

  • a thing “in general”, i.e. characterised by its intrinsic nature or function (e.g. a container)
  • a thing being either independent of a particular field of use or technically not affected if statements about the field of use are disregarded, i.e. it is not specially adapted for use in the field
  • a chemical compound

Application-oriented place provide places for classifying:

  • a thing “specially adapted for” a particular use or purpose, i.e. modified or particularly constructed for the given use or purpose (e.g. a container for storing needles)
  • an incorporation of a thing into a larger system (e.g. a container in a hydroponic system)
  • a process of making/treating a thing (e.g. a machine or process for manufacturing a container)
  • a chemical mixture, composition


Function-oriented place

Application-oriented place

Valve: F16K has provision for valves characterised by constructional or functional aspects that do not depend on the nature of the particular fluid (for example, oil) passing therethrough or of any system of which the valve may form part.

Heart valve: A61F 2/24 is the place for a mechanical valve specially adapted for insertion into a human heart

Weighing in general: G01G

Using weighing technique for document sorting: B07C5/16

Filters in general: B01D

Filters specially adapted for particular purposes, or in combination with other apparatus, are classified in application-oriented places, for example, A24D 3/00, A47J 31/06

Leaf spring: F16F1/027

The incorporation of a leaf spring into the suspension of a vehicle wheel: B60G

C07 has provision for organic chemical compounds characterised by their chemical structure but not by their application.

Compounds classified in C07 for use as pharmaceutical agents: A61K

Compounds classified in C07 for agricultural use: A01N

Generation of oscillations: H03B

Electronic tone generation in electrophonic musical instruments: G10H 5/00

For details about classification rules relating to function-oriented and application-oriented places, see Classification Priority Rules.​​​​​​​

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Publish from Draft

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