The universal patent system or the CPC has been developed to make the working of patent offices on either side of the Atlantic more efficient; to reduce duplication of work; to bring in efficiency while searching for prior art and to make documents more accessible to patent offices across the globe. The draft for the CPC has been released with the effective date pegged as January 1, 2013.

Even though CPC is based on International Patent Classification (IPC), it is far more detailed than the latter, thus enabling the transatlantic neighbours to have a full and complete integration while providing cross-referencing.

Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office (EPO), said “In less than two years, we have finalised and published a joint scheme incorporating the best classification practices of both offices, which will align our patent procedures more closely and deliver major efficiency gains.”

“In the process, the CPC will be a stepping stone towards a more general harmonisation of the world’s patent systems”, Battistelli added.