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.

4.2.2 Principles of Classification

Date Published

The primary purpose of classification is to facilitate the retrieval of technical subject matter. It is therefore devised, and has to be used, in such a way that one and the same technical subject is classified in, and thus can be retrieved from, one and the same place within the Classification scheme, this place being the one most relevant to be searched for that subject.

In IP Australia, patent classification is based on the IPC and the CPC and the process serves important purposes, including the retrieval of patent documents, facilitating work distribution via arranging patent documents into technological groups and providing a basis for investigating the state of the art in a technological field. Each examination section is responsible for a number of IPC subclasses (see IPC Sub-class and Examination Sections).

The Guide to the IPC is a comprehensive guide to the objectives, history and classification rules of the IPC.

Classification in the CPC uses the same IPC classification principles with a few additional rules as outlined in the Guide to the CPC.

The following sections provide a concise summary of IPC/CPC classification rules.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended
Back to top