Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Strasbourg, France
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 07/10/1975


Intellectual property

Sub category




What is it about?

This Agreement replaces the individual classification systems of national patent offices and creates a uniform classification system for patent documents in all member countries. Historically, the classification system draws from the system established by the European Convention on the International Classification of Patents for Invention (Paris, 19 December 1954). The International Patent Classification (IPC), now in its seventh edition, divides technology into eight sections with approximately 69,000 subdivisions. Each subdivision has a symbol consisting of Arabic numerals and letters of the Latin alphabet. There are 8 sections, 20 subsections, 118 classes and 624 sub classes.

Why is it relevant?

The Strasbourg Agreement standardizes patent registration procedures. This standardization facilitates information retrieval and international comparisons. It also simplifies the patent registration process.

Additional Information

The Agreement creates a Special Union under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property. The Special Union consists of an Assembly, the International Bureau and a committee of experts charged with revising international classifications. A CD-ROM published by WIPO (IPC: CLASS) contains all IPC editions in English and French.


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