Alexandria, VA — The US Patent and Trademark Office held an External User Day Event on July 10th at the US Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA. This event was an opportunity for the USPTO to listen to input and concerns from the patent search community regarding the CPC. Upon invitation from the USPTO, Landon IP’s Director of Training and Special Projects, Jonathan Skovholt, served on the External User Panel to provide his analysis and comments on the effects of the planned transition.
The CPC has been developed as an extension of the International Patent Classification (IPC), which is often lacking in detail and contains broad classes overstuffed with patent documents. Another targeted improvement is that the CPC subgroup titles are typically more descriptive than the USPC titles, aiding comprehension for those who scan the codes looking for relevant materials.
Although the idea behind the CPC was to develop a classification system with a high level of granularity, Mr. Skovholt noted that the CPC hierarchy loses one major advantage of the ECLA system: ECLA’s subcodes got longer as their level of granularity increased, and followed a letter-number-letter-number organization.
A second issue is that the professed goal of the CPC project is to eventually have other patent offices adopt the system. Mr. Skovholt pointed out that this goal may require further targeted classification activity, because patenting in other countries can be heavily weighted towards specific technologies that may not be as well covered in the US and European areas.
Further Analysis from Mr. Skovholt:
The introduction of a new patent classification system is always a scary prospect when you consider that millions of existing documents have to be re-classified. The success of the CPC depends heavily on the quality of these re-classification efforts. If a significant percentage of documents are misclassified, searchers will have to heavily rely on the older systems to perform competent, thorough searches in the older art, making the introduction of the new system far more of a burden than a blessing.
By reaching out to expert external users such as Landon IP’s Jonathan Skovholt, both offices are showing a commitment to making the CPC a success. The External User Day provided an open forum for searchers to submit questions and concerns. The day’s full presentations will soon be available on the official CPC website.
About Landon IP, Inc.
Landon IP is the leading global provider of professional support services throughout the intellectual property lifecycle and has met the critical needs of the IP community since 1949. Landon IP’s services include patent and trademark searching; non-patent literature searching; in-depth technical analysis; global information retrieval; and patent, legal, and technical translations. The company is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, USA near the offices of the USPTO, with offices in Southfield, Michigan, USA; El Dorado Hills, California, USA; São Paulo, Brazil; Tokyo, Japan; London, U.K.; and Shanghai, China. More information about Landon IP can be found at the Landon IP homepage.