An abbreviation or code that names a country. This is information that can be used to identify a country that granted a patent or to provide a machine-comparable form of the name of a country as an addition to the content of the <country> element.


Best Practice: Although this attribute is optional and open to any value, for best practice, the country code should be provided whenever it is known, and the ISO 3166-1 2-letter alphabetic codes should be used, for example:


United States


United Kingdom



The complete list is available from ISO, in HTML, text-file, and XML-file versions at the following location:

On the element <country>, archives and publishers can use this attribute to regularize the input for searching without altering the element content, for example, placing a country code in the attribute when the <country> element content is fully spelled out or uses a non-standard country abbreviation.

Attribute Values

In Elements

Value Meaning
Data characters Text, numbers, or special characters.
Restriction: This attribute may be specified if the element is used.