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Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright

Why is classification important?

Why is classification searching recommended?

While it is possible to search patents using keywords, patent professionals recommend that the best way to conduct a comprehensive patent search is by classification.  Classification helps bring together similar devices and concepts, even when different terms have been used to describe them.

  • When a device is truly new, terminology is not set. For example, before personal computers a mouse was nothing more than a rodent. The inventor of the first "Computer Input and Display Control" would not have found related devices by searching the keyword "mouse."
  • A classification is used both as a tool for finding patents (patentability searches) and for assisting in the assignment of patent applications to examiners for examination purposes.
  • Classifications have definitions.
  • Classifications have hierarchical relationships to one another.

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