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New patent classification system in place

Jan 24, 2013 By Debbie Gorski

Question -- "Can you explain the changes in place for filing patents?"

-- Ryan, Cheyenne

Answer -- Changes concerning the patent classification system have arrived.

As of Jan. 1, a new classification system is in place. The United States Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office have been collaborating since 2010 to put together a classification system to incorporate the best practices of both systems.

This joint collaboration resulted in the formation of the Cooperative Patent Classification. Patent searches will be easier and more efficient using a global classification system.

I want to explain the changes you will be confronted with when you file a patent. I read the news release from the USPTO and, frankly, with all of the acronyms (an alphabet soup), it just isn't an easy read. But if you want read it yourself, visit

The local USPTO contact is Karen Kitchens, intellectual property/documents librarian, Wyoming State Library.

If you have questions or suggestions, contact Kitchens by telephone at 777-7281, or by e-mail at Or contact the national Patent and Trademark Resource Center Office by telephone at 1-800-435-7735 option 2, or by e-mail at


Editor's note: Debbie Gorski is the social media community manager, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, e-mail at or call at 1-800-348-5194.

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