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Environmental Science

About Patent

What is patent?
A patent is a document giving and inventor exclusive intellectural property rights for a period of time while still making a descrption of that invention available. Patent is part of the legal area called intellectural property.
Patent classifications:
A patent classification shceme is system of code that groups inventions according to technical area. Every patent is classified (eg. Piston rings C23C4/06; F02F5/00 (IPC) and the number appears prominently on the patent. So, searching by classification is a powerful tool to find all patents in particular field.
Patent offices worldwide use the International Patent Classification (IPC). There are aporoximately 70,000 different IPC codes for different technical areas.
The European Classification System (ECLA) is an extension of the IPC and is used by the EPO.

USPTO uses its own scheme US Patent Classification System (USPCS).

EPO and the USPTO work toward a Joint Classification System Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) based on ECLA that will incorporate the best classification practices of the two offices.

fiveIPoffices is an intiative of the five largest patent offices (Europe, US, Korea, Japan, China), which account for 90% of all patent applications, to streamline their procedures including a common classification.

 Guides and Tips for searching:

Patents are a combination of a technical document and a legal document. While they must describe an invention in sufficient detail for someone else "skilled in the art" to recreate it, the language used may not be the same language that you would expect in a journal article on the topic. So, a simple keyword search is unlikely to be comprehensive. A search by patent classifcation number enhances your search result.

Helpful Patent Websites