Section 901.04(a) Kind Codes

On January 2, 2001, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began printing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standard ST.16 code on each of its published patent documents. WIPO Standard ST.16 codes (kind codes) include a letter, and in many cases a number, used to distinguish the kind of patent document (e.g., publication of an application for a utility patent (patent application publication), utility patent, plant patent application publication, plant patent, or design patent) and the level of publication (e.g., first publication, second publication, or corrected publication). Detailed information on Standard ST.16 and the use of kind codes by patent offices throughout the world is available on the WIPO website at www.wipo.int/scit/en under the links for WIPO standards and other documentation.

In addition, some kind codes assigned to existing USPTO patent documents were changed because, beginning on March 15, 2001, patent application publications began to be published weekly on Thursdays.

The tables below give a summary of the kind codes which are no longer being used on certain published patent documents as well as a summary of the kind codes which will be used on published patent documents after January 2, 2001. It is recommended that USPTO documents be identified by the following three elements: (A) the two-character country code (US for United States of America); (B) the patent or publication number; and (C) the WIPO ST.16 kind code. For example, “US 7,654,321 B1” for U.S. Patent No. 7,654,321 where there was no previously published patent application publication, and “US 2003/1234567 A1” for U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/1234567, in 2003. Each year the numbering of published patent applications will begin again with the new four-digit year and the number 0000001, so the number of a patent application publication must include an associated year.

Summary of USPTO Kind Codes No Longer Used as of January 2, 2001*
WIPO ST.16 Kind Codes Kind of document Comments
A Patent Kind code replaced by B1 or B2
P Plant Patent Kind code replaced by P2 or P3
B1, B2, B3… Reexamination Certificate Kind code replaced by C1, C2, C3…

*See the table below for the new uses for codes B1 and B2 beginning January 2, 2001.

Summary of USPTO Kind Codes Used on Documents Published Beginning January 2, 2001
WIPO ST.16 Kind Codes Kind of document Comments
A1 Patent Application Publication Pre-grant publication available March 2001
A2 Patent Application Publication (Republication) Pre-grant publication available March 2001
A9 Patent Application Publication (Corrected Publication) Pre-grant publication available March 2001
B1 Patent No previously published pre-grant publication
B2 Patent Having a previously published pre-grant publication and available March 2001
C1, C2, C3, … Reexamination Certificate Previously used codes B1 and B2 are now used for granted Patents
E Reissue Patent No change
H Statutory Invention Registration (SIR) No change
P1 Plant Patent Publication Application Pre-grant publication available March 2001
P2 Plant Patent No previously published pre-grant publication
P3 Plant Patent Having a previously published pre-grant publication and available March 2001
P4 Plant Patent Application Publication (Republication) Pre-grant publication available after March 2001
P9 Plant Patent Application Publication (Corrected Publication) Pre-grant publication available March 2001
S Design Patent No change
Summary of USPTO Kind Codes Associated with AIA Trials
WIPO ST.16 Kind Code Kind of Document
J Post-Grant Review Certificate
K Inter Partes Review Certificate
O Derivation Certificate