By Arun Kumar ‘aru’
Introduction of DEKLA
German Patent classification System (DEKLA) introduced in order to organize and index the technical information given in the German patent document. This classification system helps in retrieving the German patent document for studying a particular area of study.
German Patent classification System (DEKLA) is an extended and modified version of IPC system which provides a hierarchical system for the classification of German patents and utility models on the basis of their area of technology. For example, regular IPC code for ashtrays is: A24F 19/00 but in DEKLA A24F 19/00 A is used for ashtrays with moving mechanism1.
Evolution of DEKLA
DPMA classifies German patents and utility models documents according to IPC but use further sub-division of IPC to store more information related to particular technique so that prior-art can be accessed easily. These sub-divisions are called DEKLA and comprise 40,000 sub-divisions in addition to IPC (i.e. 110,000 total sub-divisions).
All incoming patents in German jurisdiction don’t be given DEKLA codes but it solely depends upon the German patent examiner to assign DEKLA codes to patent documents if they feel the IPC code on any particular document is not satisfactory and unable to cover the technology of the invention. Due to this reason, only few patent documents have DEKLA codes.
This shows DEKLA classification can’t be used in comprehensive search of patent data but can be used as an additional source for narrower searching of patent data in addition to IPC support.
Construction of DEKLA
The DEKLA classification like IPC is an arrangement of technical knowledge in a descending hierarchical order of section, class, subclass, main group, sub-group and DEKLA codes. The DEKLA symbols are a capital letter or a number or their combination and add after IPC codes. DEKLA groups extend the dot hierarchy of the relevant IPC group. They are placed at least one hierarchical level lower than the respective IPC group.
The worldwide knowledge is classified in eight broader sections:
A HUMAN NECESSITIES
B PERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
C CHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
D TEXTILES; PAPER
E FIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
F MECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
The construction of DEKLA can be understood with following example:
Section: A HUMAN NECESSITIES
Class: A47 FURNITURE
Subclass: A47B Tables, desks, office furniture, cabinets, chests of drawers,
general details of furniture
Main group: A47B 47/00 Cabinets, racks or shelves, characterized by features related to the dismantling or assembling of individual parts of the
DEKLA one-dot subgroup: 47/00 A • without frame-related shelf or furniture tops
DEKLA two-dot subgroup: 47/00 A1 • • composite plate using a slotted plug- shelf or
DEKLA three-dot subgroup: 47/04 A1 • • • composite plate using a slotted plug-shelf or
Group A47B 47/04 A1 actually concerns “furniture like tables, desks, office furniture, cabinets, chests of drawers etc. characterized by features related to the dismantling or assembling of individual parts with- out frame-related shelf or furniture tops specifically composite plate using a slotted plug-shelf or furniture panels”.