Tuesday, 26 October 2010

US Patent & Trademark Office, European Patent Office work toward joint classification system

USPTO press release has announced plans to work with the European Patent Office on the formation of a joint patent classification system aligned with global standards. While they will base the new joint system on the European Patent Office (EPO) standard, it will also incorporate the best practices of both offices. The press release says that a unified classification system would help the two agencies "move closer to eliminating the unnecessary duplication of work between the two offices, thus promoting more efficient examinations, while also enhancing patent examination quality." Since the PTO and EPO are already involved in work-sharing arrangements, "the idea of having a consistent classification system is a good one," said Pitt Law alum Q. Todd Dickinson, executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.  "It's a very important aspect of quality," Dickinson said. "The more efficient the classification system, the better the search. [But a] key question is how long it might take and how much it might cost. Those are key issues. In concept, it's a very good idea; we await the details."

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