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Patent Classification Reform: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Using the Patent Literature

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Information Literacy in Context: Enabling Real World Problem Solving

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1029.1 - 25.1029.10



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Paper Authors

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Michael J. White Queen's University

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Patent Classification Reform: Implications for Teaching, Learning and Using the Patent LiteraturePatents are one of the core literatures of engineering. Academic engineering librarians oftenprovide formal and informal instruction to students on how to search the patent literature,including how to use patent classification codes to retrieve patents related to specifictechnologies. The major patent classification systems in use today include the InternationalPatent Classification (IPC), the European Classification (ECLA), and the U.S. PatentClassification (USPC). In early 2011 the European Patent Office (EPO) and U.S. Patent andTrademark Office (USPTO) announced a project to create a joint classification system called theCooperative Patent Classification (CPC). The CPC will be based on ECLA and the IPC andincorporate the best classification practices from the USPTO. Starting in 2013 the EPO andUSPTO will classify all their documents using the CPC. This paper will explore how the CPCwill be implemented in patent databases and its potential impacts on how engineering librariansteach students to use the patent literature. The author will describe the organization of the CPCand its relationship to current classification systems. The paper will also review teachingmaterials and resources for learning about the CPC.

White, M. J. (2012, June), Patent Classification Reform: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Using the Patent Literature Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21786

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