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International Patent Classification

Inspec is now mapping its own indexing schemes to the WIPO IPC scheme enabling IPC symbols to be assigned to relevant records.

The Inspec implementation of IPC codes will be a valuable tool for the prior art searcher, allowing the ready clustering of relevant non-patent literature within the same familiar code structure used for patents. This functionality can be used for Inspec records all the way back to 1969. Initial trials indicate that about 75% of Inspec records will contain IPC codes and that the average record with these codes will have two assigned to it.

The IPC scheme and Inspec do not cover exactly the same conceptual territory or approach. Consequently, the level of precision of the IPC symbols applied varies depending on the relationships between the schemes and specific subjects themselves.

To assist customers with their searches, a list of IPC codes used in Inspec is available to download. The list also contains the hierarchical context to help understand the codes and their text. 

WIPO has kindly granted the IET the right to use IPC codes but these codes remain the copyright of the World Intellectual Property Organization.