US, EU Join Forces To Create Global Patent Search

By Scott Flaherty (January 2, 2013, 3:29 PM EST) -- The U.S. and European patent offices said Wednesday they have joined forces to create a global system for classifying technical patent documents, a move that follows the offices' cooperation to work out differences between their respective classification schemes.

The newly launched system, known as the Cooperative Patent Classification, is expected to make it easier for patent examiners and users to search for prior art. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office also expect the CPC to "reduce unnecessary duplication of work," according to statements released by the two patent offices.

"The launch of the CPC constitutes a...

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