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Standard ST.1

Version 1.0

adopted by the SCIT Standards and Documentation Working Group at its first session on May 30, 2001




This Recommendation defines the minimum data elements required to uniquely identify all types of patent documents whether published in paper or electronic form.



For the purposes of this Recommendation:

(a) the term “patent documents” includes patents for inventions, plant patents, design patents, inventors’ certificates, utility certificates, utility models, patents of addition, inventors’ certificates of addition, utility certificates of addition, and published applications therefor. “Documents” means patent documents, unless otherwise stated;

(b) the terms “publication” and “published” are used in the sense of making available:

(i) a patent document to the public for inspection or supplying a copy on request;

(ii) multiple copies of a patent document produced on, or by, any medium (e.g., paper, film, magnetic tape or disc, optical disc, online database, computer network, etc.).



References to the following Standards are of relevance to this Recommendation:

  • WIPO Standard ST.2:
    Standard Manner for Designating Calendar Dates by Using the Gregorian Calendar;

  • WIPO Standard ST.3:
    Recommended Standard on Two–Letter Codes for the Representation of States, Other Entities and Intergovernmental Organizations;

  • WIPO Standard ST.6:
    Recommendation for the Numbering of Published Patent Documents;

  • WIPO Standard ST.9:
    Recommendation Concerning Bibliographic Data on and Relating to Patents and SPCs;

  • WIPO Standard ST.10/B:
    Layout of Bibliographic Data Components;

  • WIPO Standard ST.16:
    Recommended Standard Code for the Identification of Different Kinds of Patent Documents;

  • WIPO Standard ST.50:
    Guidelines for Issuing Corrections, Alterations and Supplements Relating to Patent Information.



Historically it was considered that a patent document could be uniquely identified by the ST.3 country/organization code, the ST.6 publication number and the ST.16 kind‑of‑patent document code, e.g., US 1234567 A. However, with the growing interest in the availability of corrected documents including their publication on electronic media (CD‑ROM, Internet, etc.), this situation no longer necessarily applied. The use of the same combination of ST.3/ST.6/ST.16 codes on both the corrected document and the original version of the published document has occurred. Guidelines on the issue of corrections published in WIPO Standard ST.50 address the problem with the inclusion of specific correction related ST.16 codes and the use of supplementary correction codes. However, there are limitations within the scope of the provisions of WIPO Standards ST.50 and ST.16 as well as their application and use by industrial property offices. It was against this background that the present Recommendation for the unique identification of a patent document was determined.

Recommended minimum set of data elements to provide for the unique identification of a patent document


The minimum data elements that must be indicated to uniquely identify all types of patent documents either manually or by computers are the following:

(a)  the WIPO Standard ST.3 code of the industrial property office or organization publishing the document;

(b)  the publication number according to WIPO Standard ST.6;

(c)  the kind‑of‑document code according to WIPO Standard ST.16; and

(d)  the date of publication of the document as provided by WIPO Standard ST.9 INID codes (40) through (48), as appropriate. The presentation of calendar dates identified by any of the INID codes concerned should be in the sequence and format recommended in WIPO Standard ST.2.

Recommended publishing practice


Recommendations in respect of the publication of the unique identifier on the first page and on each of the following pages of a patent document are included in WIPO Standard ST.10/B.

Publication and storage of corrections


The validity of the unique identification of a patent document by the use of the four data elements, as detailed in paragraph 5, above, requires that each time a correction to a patent document is published, the document must appear under a separate date. Therefore, it is extremely important that industrial property offices recognize this requirement and apply this restriction and provide a different publication date (preferably under INID code (48) of WIPO Standard ST.9) for each published corrected patent document.


In the case of a corrected patent document that has been published under the same date as the previous document, industrial property offices maintaining this data in their collection should store the paper or electronic copies of both the original document and the corrected document together so that users retrieve both documents when requesting a copy of either one.


[End of Standard]