Answered By: Poping Lin
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2019     Views: 151

Patent terminology: Kind codes (or Status codes)

What are "kind codes" and why do I need to know about them?


Kind codes are part of the patent number and are affixed at the end of the number. The kind code includes a letter, and may also include a number.  It indicates the status and/or type of patent. Sometimes it may also be called as "status codes"

Examples: US7293573B2, or US20050117326A1

"A" indicates patent application, “1” indicates initial publication of applications while "B" indicates granted patent,  "2" indicates this granted patent having a previously published pre-grant publication. 

Commonly used kind codes:

A Patent Application
B Patent issued
E Reissue patent
P Plant patent
S Design patent
U Utility patent


National authorities use various kind codes depending on their publication policies. See detailed kind codes explanations by USPTO, EPO, and WIPO.

Strategic applications:

  • A quick, at a glance way to identify the status of a patent (is it an application or has it been granted? Is it a translation?) or the type of patent (is it a utility patent or a plant patent)?