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Help: Specifying EPO Patent Kind Codes
European (EPO) patents are typically re-published at different stages of the patenting procedure. Hence, there can be multiple publications associated with a given patent. Publications of the same patent are differentiated by a kind code, which consists of a letter (typically A or B) followed by a number. A kind codes (e.g., A1, A2) are used for patent applications; B kind codes (e.g., B1, B2) are used for issued patents.

Default Kind
In the absence of a kind code suffix, will return the most recent version of the patent that is available. That is, if the patent has issued, the latest B version of the patent is returned. Alternatively, if the patent has not issued, the A1 or A2 version of the patent is returned.

Explicit Kind Code Selection
You can explicitly specify a particular version of the patent publication, by appending the kind code to the end of the patent number (e.g., EP534321A2). When you explicitly specify the kind code suffix, our server will retrieve only that particular variant of the patent publication. (If the specified kind code is not available, a hyperlinked list of available kind codes will be displayed.)

An Example
Consider patent EP 534 321. The patent has issued, so if you do not specify a particular kind code (e.g., EP534321), the B1 version of the patent is returned.

Because the application for this patent was filed without a search report, the patent application was published with the kind code A2. Hence, to retrieve the patent application, you would use the number EP534321A2.

The search report for the patent has the kind code A3. To retrieve the search report, you would use the number EP534321A3.

Please note that for billing purposes, each distinct kind code is considered a unique patent image document. That is, if you retrieve both EP534321A2 and EP534321, you will be billed for two unique patent image documents.