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The classification of ornamental designs in the United States Patent Classification System


  • Rademaker, Charles A.


More than 400,000 industrial designs have been granted statutory protection in the US as design patents since 1844. The system for classifying such design patents for efficient retrieval is a specialized part of the United States Patent Classification (USPC). It is described here under the following headings: purpose, the classification schedule, schedule organization, relationship to utility patent classification, design patent titles, class and subclass definitions, hierarchy, special features, simulative designs, and cross-reference art collections and digests. The paper then considers placement rules for the consistent classification of design patents, the Locarno International Classification, searching for ornamental designs, and aids for such searching. Many specific, illustrative examples of the schedule, and of the placement of and retrieval of design patents for particular articles are provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Rademaker, Charles A., 2000. "The classification of ornamental designs in the United States Patent Classification System," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 123-133, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:22:y:2000:i:3:p:123-133

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