How Major Patent Search Systems will Implement the CPC

The full roll out of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) is less than a month away, and the classification search options for US and EP patent publications will soon change drastically for prior art searchers.  After January 1, 2013, the CPC will completely replace ECLA, and all US published applications will carry CPC classifications.  The EPO and USPTO released a “CPC launch package” back in October which contained the complete CPC scheme, any finalized CPC definitions, and an ECLA-to-CPC-to-IPC concordance. The USPTO and EPO have been thoroughly preparing for the transition to the CPC, but how are the distributors of major patent search systems preparing for the implementation of the CPC?  From the Major Recent Updates sections of the Intellogist Reports, I’ve compiled a quick guide on how Espacenet,, TotalPatent, Thomson Innovation, PatBase, and Dialog will make the CPC searchable within each of their systems.

Continue reading to learn how each of these major patent search platforms will handle the new Cooperative Patent Classification!


According to Issue 3/2012 of the Patent Information News, in early December 2012, Espacenet switches from ECLA to CPC. “From this time on, it will no longer be possible to search on Espacenet using ECLA symbols.”

According to a Questel representative:

Questel will commence adding ongoing CPCs to Pluspat and FamPat as soon as EPO begins sending the data in the normal weekly updates (expected 1st week January 2013). Planning is ongoing and subject to change based on EPO deliveries. The planning for the backlog modifications will be announced at a later date.

A new field will be added to FamPat and PlusPat for the Cooperative Patent Classifications : CPC.

TotalPatent (and

According to an email from a LexisNexis representative regarding the implementation of the CPC on and TotalPatent:

Since LexisNexis currently hosts patent data on two platforms—the legacy offering at (that you have been using) and a much more robust offering on our flagship patent search platform TotalPatent, we will be rewriting the classification data for TotalPatent, but not for

Before January 1, 2013, we recommend that patent users who do research based on patent classification do that research on TotalPatent. We are committed to making the process as easy and effortless for you as possible. The end result will certainly be a superior user experience, thanks to the patent-specific nature of the TotalPatent interface.

Here are the key details:

  • No new IDs—You’ll be able to use your current ID/PW to access TotalPatent. In fact, there is a link to TotalPatent on the right-hand side of the Patent Area of Law page that will open TotalPatent with one click.
  • No additional charges for standard Boolean searching/downloading in the patent databases already included in your flat-rate contract through the TotalPatent interface.
  • Personalized assistance and training from the IP User Experience team members to help you transition your research to the TotalPatent platform as well as any Alerts that you might have.

Thomson Innovation ( as well as DWPI and other Thomson Reuters Patent Products)

According to an announcement about the CPC in the Thomson Innovation helpfiles:

CPC will be made available in most Thomson Reuters patent products and services and will be represented by new fields containing both backfile and frontfile CPC data. The old ECLA and USPC fields, while no longer updated, will be retained in Thomson Reuters products to allow reference to historical data.

Thomson Innovation will fully embrace this latest classification advancement with flexible and versatile features to allow searching, display, analysis, export, and alerting using CPC with their main defining characteristics (attributes). “Current CPC” fields will capture the latest status of the CPC for records and “Original CPC” fields will capture the classification information available at the time of publication.

DWPI users will also see and benefit from these classification changes including the refinements of the CPC data in the backfile as well as in the ongoing patent data. Technical documentation and data samples detailing the specific implementation in the DWPI feeds have already been sent to those users (and can also be obtained from our Technical Support team).

The CPC frontfile classification data will be available in January 2013 and the backfile data will be loaded in the first quarter of 2013.

Browsing tools and help files, as well as our training and product specialists, will provide assistance during the transition period so our customers can take full advantage of the benefits of this new classification system.

PatBase and PatBase Express

The following update to PatBase was described in the Autumn 2012 issue of TouchBase:

How will the CPC be integrated into PatBase? – The new classification will be an addition to the main search form, and will also be searchable in the command line via the CPC= command. We will retain ECLA legacy data and provide fully searchable definitions of all classifications to make the transition as easy as possible for PatBase users.


According to the December 2012 issue of the Dialog Chronolog:

CPC — A New Patent Classification System – The CPC classes will begin appearing in Dialog legacy patent databases in January 2013. The search prefix for CPC will be CP= and will be available for searching in the following Dialog databases:

  • Chinese Patents Fulltext, File 325
  • Derwent World Patents Index®, Files 350, 351, 352
  • European Patents Fulltext, File 348
  • INPADOC/Family and Legal Status, File 345
  • CLAIMS®/U.S. Patents, File 340
  • U.S. Patents Fulltext, File 654
  • WIPO/PCT Patents Fulltext, File 349


Professional patent searchers at Landon IP are meticulously preparing for the transition to the new Cooperative Patent Classification for US and EP patent publications, and part of this preparation is knowing how each major patent search system will implement the CPC.  Many subscription-based systems, such as Thomson Innovation and PatBase, will retain ECLA as a searchable field, while the free Espacenet system will no longer have ECLA searching enabled.  Some of the search systems with command line interfaces, such as PatBase and Dialog, have a field qualifier that may be used as a command to search for patent documents with a specific CPC code.  LexisNexis has decided to only implement the CPC in its flagship patent search product, TotalPatent, while the CPC will not be available as a search field on  Visit Intellogist and check the Major Recent Updates sections of all 38 Intellogist Reports to learn the latest news about CPC implementation on  important prior art search systems.

Do you know of any important news about the implementation of the CPC on major patent search systems? Let us know in the comments!

Patent Information from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services

One Response

  1. Very nice to know, Thanks

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