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About WIPO Standards

WIPO Standards provide a framework for working with information in intellectual property documents.

Using WIPO Standards helps intellectual property offices around the globe work in a more efficient, harmonious, and timely fashion.

WIPO Standards also greatly simplify both international cooperation among offices and use by the public of intellectual property information.

Brochure – What are WIPO Standards and how can they help you?

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WIPO Standards – Latest developments in WIPO Standards, including updates from the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS).

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WIPO Handbook

The WIPO Handbook provides authoritative documentation of intellectual property information from around the world, including WIPO Standards, Recommendations, and Guidelines.

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Who uses WIPO Standards and for what?

Intellectual property offices can...

Keep up with the latest news concerning WIPO Standards by reading the news feed on our homepage. Official circulars issued under the umbrella of the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS) are also available online for your reference.

Before setting up or modernizing information and publication systems, it can be useful to consult WIPO Standards, which reflect best practices and facilitate the exchange and dissemination of intellectual property information. The following WIPO Standards may be of particular use:

For further assistance, IP offices may contact us.

Taking part in sessions of the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS) and specific CWS Task Forces is the best way to stay informed about new trends in IP information standardization. In addition, doing so allows you to influence the development of future recommendations.

Nobody likes making a big effort to do something complex, only to find out later that there's a better way to do it. To avoid wasting time and money, consult and learn from best practices in other IP offices. Seeing how others have solved certain problems can help you solve your own in a much more efficient way.

Part 7 of the WIPO Handbook contains detailed information on best practices related to various aspects of IP information, including:

Intellectual property information users can...

Country and organization codes provide a quick and easy way to uniquely identify the origin of an IP document and find out exactly which IP office issued it. These codes consist of two letters, all outlined in WIPO Standard ST.3. The codes are essential for searches by application number or country.

Users of patent documents and patent gazettes sometimes encounter difficulties in identifying bibliographic data elements found in such documents. INID (Internationally agreed Numbers for the Identification of [bibliographic] Data”) codes help users to quickly make sense of this data.

  • Patent documents (ST.9)
  • Trademark documents (ST.60)
  • Industrial design documents (ST.80)

Using the recommended codes in WIPO Standard ST.16, you can distinguish different types of patent documents, such as patent applications, granted patents, utility models, etc., published by various IP offices in different languages.

The corresponding examples and IPO practices are described in Part 7.3 of the WIPO Handbook.

WIPO Standard ST.14 can help you to decode citations and better identify relevant prior art, by outlining a standardized way of presenting references contained in patent documents.

ST.14 can also assist you with understanding the different categories of citations found in search reports. They can provide a valuable indication of the potential patentability of an invention.

Application and publication numbers in intellectual property documents have a specific format and style. Knowing how this numbering works, makes the search and retrieval of relevant documents much easier.

  • Applications for IP rights (ST.13)
  • Published patent documents (ST.6)
  • IPO practices (Part 7.2)

Knowledge of the codes used in announcement headings in official gazettes, as well as an understanding of the contents and layout of the various sections (ST.18, ST.63 and ST.81) helps you to find relevant information even without any particular knowledge of the language in which the gazette is published or without any specialized knowledge of the industrial property laws involved.

Applicants for intellectual property protection can...

Country codes are short abbreviations with which you can identify a particular country. It is important to understand country codes and to use them correctly, especially when designating countries in which you are seeking protection or when citing prior art. Consult WIPO Standard ST.3.

In order to provide references to illustrate prior art in patent applications, follow the recommendations contained within WIPO Standard ST.14.

To draw up a single sequence listing acceptable, in particular, in all PCT Contracting States, make sure to follow the recommendations contained within WIPO Standard ST.26.

WIPO Standard ST.26 recommends the use of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) for the presentation of nucleotide and amino acid sequence listings.

The recommendations contained within WIPO Standard ST.22 aid you in preparing patent applications to undergo Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Making OCR scans will facilitate the transformation of documentation to digital form and enhance the presentation and value of patent documents issued by an IP office.

The recommendations contained within WIPO Standard ST.2 help avoid any misinterpretation of the numerals used to represent calendar dates.

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Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS)

The CWS is the collaborative international forum for discussing and developing WIPO Standards, as well as other matters relating to intellectual property information and documentation.