Kind codes

The standard for document kind codes is set by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The following list explains European and PCT international patent document kind codes. Patent documents are classified into three main categories.

EP-A documents:

European patent applications, published 18 months after filing with the EPO or 18 months after the priority date


European patent application published with European search report


European patent application published without European search report (search report not available at publication date)


Separate publication of European search report


Supplementary search report


Corrected title page of A document, ie. A1 or A2 document


Complete reprint of A document, ie. A1, A2 or A3 document.

EP-B documents:

European patent specifications


European patent specification (granted patent)


New European patent specification (amended specification after opposition procedure)


European patent specification (after limitation procedure)


Corrected title page of B document (i.e. B1 or B2 document)


Complete reprint of B document (i.e. B1 or B2 document)

WO-A documents:


International application published with international search report


International application published without international search report or (from 1 January 2009 onwards) international application published with declaration under Article 17(2)(a)


Later publication of ISR with revised front page


(from 1 January 2009 onwards) Later publication of amended claims and/or statement (Art.19)

If you search by application, publication or priority number in Espacenet, only the country code (CC) and document number are mandatory and must be entered in one string. Leading zeros can generally be ignored, e.g. EP453930.

However kind codes, or parts of kind codes, must be attached to the number in the following cases:

  • for documents with one of the following country codes: AT, AU, BA, BG, CN, DK, FI, IS, KR, NL, NO, PL, SK, UY, TW, YU, a kind code letter must be attached to the number, except when the kind code is A;
  • for documents from all other authorities, a kind code letter must be attached to the number, except when the kind code is either A, B or C;
  • for Japanese documents (JP) an entire kind code (a letter and possibly a digit) must be attached to the number, except when the kind code is A;
  • for utility models enter the corresponding kind code U, e.g. ES1005422U.

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