The USPC is a system for organizing all U.S. patent documents and many other technical documents into relatively small collections based on common subject matter. Each subject matter division in the USPC includes a major component called a class and a minor component called a subclass. A class generally delineates one technology from another. Subclasses delineate processes, structural features, and functional features of the subject matter encompassed within the scope of a class. Every class has a unique alphanumeric identifier, as do most subclasses. Click HERE to be connected to the Index to the Manual of Classification.
The Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) was initiated as a joint partnership between the USPTO and the EPO where the Offices have agreed to harmonize their existing classification systems (ECLA and USPC, respectively) and migrate towards a common classification scheme. This was a strategic decision by both offices and is seen as an important step towards advancing harmonization efforts currently being undertaken through the IP5’s Working Group 1 on Classification. Click HERE to find the classification scheme.
The Manual for Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) is a manual for patent agents and patent examiners published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It describes all of the laws and regulations that must be followed in the examination of U.S. patent applications, and articulates in detail their application to an enormous variety of different factual situations.
The MPEP is also used extensively by patents agents/attorneys to help make sure they follow the proper USPTO regulations. The USPTO registration examination tests knowledge of the MPEP and the underlying laws and regulations.
The MPEP also provides useful guidance to members of the public on how to present persuasive arguments to a patent examiner as to why a patent should be granted on a given patent application.
To view the Manual for Patent Examining Procedure, click HERE.