Research patents in a specific technology domain

Derwent research guides

Can I find all patents for a specific technology?

How do I make that sure my keyword searches find all the patents relevant to a technology?

How can I focus large result sets on specific aspects of a technology?

Classification codes identify patents by technological subject matter. You can use these codes to describe a technology and research inventions that match that description.

Patent classification codes made easy

Here the major classification you can use in Derwent Innovation

International Patent Classification (IPC)

  • Administered by WIPO and used in over 100 countries
  • Classifies patents into 8 main subject areas,

and can optionally be used at a Core or Advanced level

Cooperative Patent Classification System (CPC)

  • Developed by the EPO and USPTO to create a

common system for US and European patents

  • Provides a more specific, detailed version of IPC

DWPI Manual Codes

  • A unique, proprietary system applied consistently by subject specialists
  • Classifies all patents into 20 categories with clear, easy to read English-language definitions

In Derwent Innovation you can also use US Class, F terms and FI codes and  DWPI Class

How to understand a classification code

Classification codes use hierarchical structure that describes increasingly specific areas of technology, from very broad at the highest level to very specific at the lowest level, as demonstrated in an example IPC code:

Section: The highest level of the code,

which represents a broad technology area (e.g., A-Human Necessities)

Class: A major sub-area of the technology

(e.g., A01-Agriculture)

Subclass: A specific, broad application

for the technology area (e.g., A01K-Animal Husbandry)

Main Group: Major components of technology

for a partic­ular application (e.g., A01K 1/00Housing Animals)

Subgroup: Precisely defines a specific field within a main group

How to identify classification codes to use in your search

Get a relevant document and look at classes associated to it

Open a relevant document in record view and go to the Classes/Indexing session to have a complete view of all classes assigned to that document.

Hovering the mouse on the class code you can see its description

Browse the hierarchy structure of a classification

In Derwent Innovation when you select a classification field on the fielded search form, a Look Up button displays.

Click on Look up button to access the hierarchy structure of that classification code or to search by keywords or codes.

Look at relevant patents and use charts to identify common classes

Run a quick keyword search to find patents for the technology you want to research. Then analyze them using charts on IPC, CPC or DWPI Manual Code to see the top class codes in your results.

In Derwent Innovation you can leverage Insight dashboard to quick view relevant classification code. Look at the What are my competitors working on? Chart. It provides a visual comparison of the technologies associated with the top 10 assignees

What are my competitors working on?

The large circle chart focuses on a selected assignee. Within the chart, individual sections represent the broad technology areas IPC-4 character codes for which that company filed patents. The size of each section is proportional to the number of records in your results that assignee has in that technology area.

Click sections of the chart to view the Smart Themes IPC keywords; click any item in the list to see the full IPC definition

Smart Themes supplement dense IPC definitions with clear, concise key terms derived from actual patents for that technology.

Explore a technology area with classification codes

Once you discover the classes that describe your technology area, use them to run a search.

You can combine more classification field with the OR operator.

Analyze results using Insights

Evaluate trends within the technology domain

The How is the technology trending?  chart reveals when a technology emerged and its development over time.

  • Watch the movement of technical areas over time to spot areas of rising or declining innovation
  • Use the trend time line below to focus on specific years
  • View the Smart Themes IPC keywords in the legend on the right; click any vertical line in the chart to view and select records by more granular IPC codes

Use Key Insights to view the top 3 technology areas, peak publication years, and technology diversity trends

Find centers of innovation

The Where has this technology been developed?  chart helps reveal where innovation occurs in a technology space.

  • Click More Tools, select to view Grants or Applications (or both), and toggle between Origin of technology development or Publication countries/regions

Key Insights at the bottom reveal the closest competitor to the top assignees