German patent classifications

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The unified German patent office starts to issue patents in 1878.

Alex Monge says there were 89 technological categories in this system until 1900, then subclasses were created with a letter after the number -- 20a, 20b, 77h, etc. Can cite work of Jochen Streb on this.[1]

If so that means DE 77, DE 57, and DE 80 were categories until 1900, and DE 77h and DE 64a start then.

Before 1878, there was no unified Germany nor a unified patent system there. There was a German confederation of many principalities, or smaller national governments, sometimes called principalities, and most of these had patent systems too which overall issued on the order of 20,000 patents from 1843 to 1877.


  1. Conversations at EHA 2017, 16 Sept 2017


Enclosing categories Patent classification systems
Subcategories DE 37, DE 46, DE 57, DE 65a, DE 77, DE 80, German patent classifications 1877, German patent classifications 1900
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