Response 2 of 4 submitted by Germany in 2012
1. The revised version of WIPO Standard ST.13 was adopted by the Standards and Documentation Working Group (SDWG) of the Standing Committee on Information Technologies (SCIT) in February 2008. This revision introduced guidelines on a prototype numbering format of application numbers, including guidelines for coding the types of industrial property rights (IPRs), codes for internal use, control numbers, etc.
2. Application numbers are assigned by industrial property offices (IPOs) in order to identify each application received, and are used by applicants and other offices, for instance, when the priority is claimed. It is important that IPOs, applicants, and users of IP information are always able to identify application numbers, and particularly priority application numbers, as well as their parts, in a unique, clear, and unambiguous manner.
3. The term priority application number in the context of this questionnaire is the reference to an application for a patent, trademark, design or any other IPR, previously received by the Office/Organization, and to which the applicant wishes to refer in a further application, usually filed with another Office/Organization. Generally, these numbers are provided on priority documents or priority certificates.
4. IPOs use a variety of codes in their application numbers, for instance, for coding types of IPRs, regional filing information, and check digits. The codes used by each IPO are unique, and the detailed information on them, as well as on the application number format, might be very important for other IPOs to facilitate their subsequent procedures, e.g. when claiming a priority right.
5. The SDWG requested the International Bureau to conduct a survey on application and priority application numbering systems currently used by the IPOs. The International Bureau should also maintain a list of codes for the types of IPRs, the codes for internal use and the control numbers (check digits) used by the IPOs in the WIPO Handbook on Industrial Property Information and Documentation (WIPO Handbook).
6. The main part of the present Questionnaire (Questions 1 – 11) is devoted to application numbering systems. Question 12 concentrates on priority application numbering in details. Question 13 relates to the compliance of the IPO’s practices with WIPO Standard ST.13. Examples of application numbers and priority application numbers along with relevant remarks are to be provided in response to Question 14.
7. Please note that the objective of this questionnaire is to collect information about numbering systems currently implemented in the IPOs. It is expected that once this exercise is completed the ST.10/C Task Force will prepare a questionnaire to conduct a second survey to collect information about numbering systems used by the IPOs in the past.
8. The following WIPO Standards are of relevance to this survey:
9. Part 7.2 “Numbering systems” of the WIPO Handbook could be also helpful when you prepare your response to this questionnaire.
One response to questionnaire per numbering system
Offices administering the variety of IPRs might have more than one numbering system. Firstly the person who responds to the Questionnaire on behalf of the Office/Organization has to determine the number of different application numbering systems implemented in the Office/Organization. Let this number be N.
Relating to Example 1 in the introductory section, the office would have filled two questionnaires – one for the numbering system used for patent (and patent-like) applications, and another – and one for the numbering system used for trademark and design applications.
In the first case, the office would tick all check boxes for the patents it numbers using the first system.
In the second case, the office would then tick the check boxes for trademarks and designs which are numbered using the second system.
WIPO Standard ST.13 provides that the indispensable part of an application number should consist of a code for the type of IPR, the year designation, and the serial number.
Application type (post/fax, digital online)
A fictional office has three sub-offices A, B, and C and codes the receiving office in the application number as an additional part. Then the office would indicate “receiving office code” as an additional part.
since may 2011
WIPO Standard ST.13 recommends the ordering (sequence) of parts of an application number to be 'type' 'year' 'serial number'.
According to ST.13: [type][year][serial number]
WIPO Standard ST.13 recommends using a fixed length of 15 characters (2 digits for the type of IPR, 4 digits for the year designation, and 9 digits for the serial number) for the application number.
|Code for the type of IPR||
|Additional part 1|
|Additional part 2|
|Additional part 3|
For the case described in Examples 3 and 4 above, the response could be as follows:
code for the type of IP right 2
year designation 4
serial number 9
Additional part 1 (receiving office code) 1
WIPO Standard ST.13 recommends coding the type of IPR as an indispensable part of the application number. The following codes are provided for in the Standard:
10-19: patent applications10: applications for patents for inventions
11: applications for patents from Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications (PCT applications in the national phase)
12-19: office use
20-29: utility model applications
20: applications for utility models
21: applications for utility models from PCT applications
22-29: office use
30-89: office use
(applications for other IPRs: industrial designs, trademarks, layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits, SPCs, etc.)
90-99: reserved for use by the International Bureau of WIPO
91: international applications filed under the PCT in the international phase
“U” for utility model would be “Only letters”; “20” for utility models ‑ “only numerals”
|Utility Models / Utility certificates||
|International utility model applications under the PCT||
For the scenario described in Example 1, the table would be filled in as follows:
For copy 1 of 2 (first numbering system which relates to patents and patent-like applications)
IP right Code
plant patents 12
PCT applications 14
For copy 2 of 2 (second numbering system relating to trademarks and designs)
IP right Code
industrial designs D
WIPO Standard ST.13 recommends coding a year with four digits according to the Gregorian calendar. Furthermore, it recommends that if an IPO does not wish to provide a year designation, the corresponding digits in the application number can be set to “0000” for the machine-readable form (electronic storage, exchange or identification), at the same time “0000” can be omitted for the purpose of display or print presentation.
Year of filing
For the serial number as an indispensable part of the application number, WIPO Standard ST.13 recommends a fixed length of nine digits to be used at each office’s discretion. All nine digits should be employed in the machine-readable form. Leading zeros may be omitted for presentation. Gaps in sequential numbering schemes are permitted. The order of assignment of serial numbers does not necessarily need to reflect the order of registration. Starting at 1 each year is not necessary. When regional filing information forms a part of the application number, this information must be coded in the first two positions of the serial number.
since 29.04.2011: 20 2011 050 000 dpma direct
since 29.04.2011: 20 2011 100 000 paper/fax
since 29.04.2011: 21 2011 100 000 PCT
Paper filings begin at 1 each year, electronic filings begin at 50000. At the end of the year, there is usually a gap of about 15000 between the last paper filing and the first electronic filing.
Some IPOs include regional filing information (i.e. the sub-office or state office in which the application was filed) in the application number. WIPO Standard ST.13 states that this information can be coded in the 9 digit serial number and if included it must be located at the first two positions of the serial number. In this case, these two positions can also be characters. If a country code is used for identifying different member offices of intergovernmental organizations, WIPO Standard ST.3 applies.
WIPO Standard ST.13 recommends the following basic rules for control numbers (check digits): they should consist of a single numeral, be in a computer-readable form, and be located at the last position (furthest to the right) of the nine-digit serial number.
Yes, it is a part of the application number
After the application number
Single numeric character
Both in the computer-readable form and for presentation
Our office additionally codes e‑filing information in the application number. E‑filings have serial numbers 50000‑100000, where 50000‑74999 are e-filings using epoline, and 75000‑10000 are e‑filings using PCT‑SAFE.
WIPO Standard ST.13 provides that separators may be used for separating different elements in the application number (the type of IPR, the year designation, and the serial number). The Standard recommends that separators are not included in the computer-readable form, and should be used only for presentation. According to the Standard the following elements may be used as separators: a slash “/”, a hyphen “-” or a space “ ”.
Between the type of IPR and the year designation there is a space, between the year designation and the serial number there is a slash and between the serial number and the check digit there is a dot. space/. e.g. 10 2010/345678.4
Both in the computer-readable form and for presentation
Please see attached file:
German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
20 2004 000 001.3
20: Utility models
21: Utility models resulting from PCT applications
In addition to providing information on the type, serial number, code for internal use, and control number, please explain the general idea of the structure and/or characteristic of your application numbering system under the bullet 'Description of the numbering system', if needed.
|Description of the numbering system|
|Type of IP rights||
|Code for Internal use|
|Control number check digit||