Identification of different kinds of published patent documents.
By having some basic understanding of interpreting kind codes, reviewing of patent documents will speed up. Kind codes are the two letters at the end of a patent number. As a general rule of thumb, documents with an A at the end usually means that that the document you are reviewing is a published patent application. If there is a B at the end, it usually means the patent was granted at some time and is the published patent with the respective allowed claims.
The WIPO Recommended Standard provides for groups of letter codes in order to distinguish patent documents published by patent offices. The letter codes also facilitate the storage and retrieval of such documents.
The kind code is placed after the publication/patent number. For example, EP2884868A1, where A1 is the kind code meaning that this is a European patent application published with European search report, see below example.
The following is a list of European and international patent document kind codes: