USPTO Takes Next Step Towards Cooperative Patent Classification System

by McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

[author: Donald Zuhn]

USPTO SealIn a notice published in today's Federal Register, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it will be hosting a Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) External User Day event from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm (EST) on July 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 37879).  During the event, which will be held in the Madison Auditorium on the USPTO's Alexandria campus, the USPTO will provide an overview of the CPC, a new patent classification system being jointly developed by the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO).  USPTO staff will also provide information concerning external user interaction, accessibility, training and outreach related to the CPC.  Those interested in attending the event should e-mail their name and phone member to

EPOThe CPC is a detailed classification system that will be based on the International Patent Classification, which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and will also use the European Classification system (ECLA) as a foundation.  According to the two offices, the new classification system will incorporate the best classification practices of both the U.S. and European systems.  The joint effort to develop a joint patent classification system was first announced in October 2010 (see "USPTO and EPO to Develop Joint Patent Classification System").  Four months after that announcement, the USPTO and EPO provided additional information regarding the foundation of the joint classification system (see "USPTO and EPO Agree to Principles of Joint Patent Classification System").  And one year after their initial announcement, the two offices launched a website providing information on the CPC initiative (see "USPTO and EPO Launch Patent Classification Website").  According to the USPTO, next month's event is the next step in educating and informing external stakeholders about the current development and future implementation plans of the CPC.

Earlier this month, USPTO Director David Kappos posted a list of twelve reasons why the USPTO is moving to the CPC on his blog.  Director Kappos also noted that the Office had provided an overview of its CPC efforts to the examining corps in February.  As for the twelve reasons for moving to the CPC, the Director indicated that:

1. The CPC, unlike the current U.S. Patent Classification System (USPC), would be current and revised on a regular basis.

2. The CPC would allow for more frequent updating, allowing the offices to adapt to filing trends and incorporate emerging technologies into the scheme.

3. The CPC, unlike the USPC, would be more compatible with the classification schemes used by the EPO, KIPO, JPO, and SIPO, which are all based on the IPC standard.

4. U.S. examiners using the CPC system will have better access to pertinent prior art.

5. By providing more 50,000 additional breakdowns, the CPC will provide more targeted searches yielding more focused results.

6. The CPC will benefit from the incorporation of U.S. documents dating back from 1920, which were classified under the ECLA.

7. U.S. examiners will benefit by only having to classify documents filed first in the U.S.

8. The USPTO and EPO examiners will be able to share and exchange classification and search tools.

9. Examiners and users worldwide will be able to conduct patent document searches by accessing the same document collections.

10. The CPC will allow the USPTO to use work of other intellectual property offices.

11. The USPTO will run both the CPC and USPC in parallel for two years beginning on January 1, 2013 to allow examiners sufficient opportunity to learn and transition to the new scheme.

12. The CPC will eventually be used by more than 45 patent offices in their internal search systems, thus becoming the international standard.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.