902 Search Tools and Classification Information [R-07.2022]

There are multiple classification systems used throughout the international patent system. These include the Cooperative Patent Classification System (CPC), U.S. Patent Classification System (USPC), the International Patent Classification System (IPC), and the Locarno International Classification (Locarno). As of January 1, 2013, the USPTO moved from using the USPC system to the CPC system for classification of pending utility applications. All U.S. utility patents and U.S. utility Patent Application Publications published after December 31, 2014 no longer receive classifications within the USPC. The USPC is now a static searchable database for all utility areas. Only U.S. design and plant patents and U.S. plant patent application publications continue to receive classification within the USPC.