Monday, October 29, 2012

The Secret Language of Patents

The difficulty of forming a clear conception of the subject is increased by the fact that while we have to deal with novel and strange facts, we have also to use words in novel and inconsistent ways.
— The Difficulty of Forming a Clear Conception: The Telegraph. Harpers Magazine 366, 1873

A Glossary of USPTO's Terms of Art

This is a glossary of the terms the USPTO has defined within the US Patent Classification System — The USPC.
USPTO's Own Patent Argot 
USPTO uses these words to define what the specific term means in the context of the classifications. There are also terms of art — a term that has a specialized meaning in a particular chemical, electrical, or mechanical scientific or engineering domain. Within the current US Patent Classification system a word can have a different meaning depending on the area of invention that it resides in. There are three different definitions for the word "Active" — one that pertains to pharmacology and biology; one that relates to plant growth; and a third that deals with an "active database." There are five definitions of "Acylic", three for "Address Data"; five for "Alkali Metals", and we aren't even out of the A's yet.
For people who aren' patent cognoscenti, finding the specific definitions for particular terms in your industry or one you want to explore can be difficult. So we assembled all of the definitions in one place. Here all of the terms are presented in alphabetical order along with the class from which we harvested the definition. The USPC Glossary enables you to browse all of the different definitions for the same term in one place and see what the specific patent class is where the definition is used.
Cooperative Patent Classification SystemUSPTO and their colleagues at the European Patent Office (EPO) are moving to a new the Cooperative Patent Classification System (CPC). Our classification experts are on the job builidng tools to help you transition from the USPC to the CPC. As the Cooperative Patent Classification system evolves, we will add any new or different definitions that arise to assist you in making the transition to the new classification system. We will also seeing if there are differences that warrant thinking about inventions in a new way in order to look for an find prior art. The change in classification philosophy from classifying based on the claim to classifying the invention in light of the claim is probably going to require a different perspective in the hunt for prior art.
We hope this is a helpful tool for exploring the patentsphere.
A | B | C-CL | CM-CZ | D-DIM | DIM-DZ | E | F | G | H | I | J-K L | M-MET | METH-MZ | N | P-PHA | PHE-PON | POR-PZ | Q | R | S-SEPA | SEPO-SMT | SN-STEMSTEP-SZ | T-TOG | TON-TZ | U | V | W | X-Z |
A Caveat
The Definitions were taken verbatim from the USPC Class Definitions. We are in the process of integrating the images that help explain the definitions. They should be available shortly, If you would like to see the rest of the information about a particular class, just use the link next to the definition an it will take you to USPTO USPC digital repository.