Code (usually a 2-character alphabetic 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.


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.

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 31660-1 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:

Attribute Values

In Elements

<country> Country: in an Address
<patent> Patent Number, Cited
Value Meaning
Text, numbers, or special characters A standardized abbreviation for a country (for best practice, the ISO 31660-1 2-letter alphabetic codes)
Restriction: This attribute may be specified if the element is used.