PTO Moves Forward with Nanotechnology Classification

On May 4, 2005, the Patent Office held a Nanotechnology Customer Partnership Meeting as a forum for two-way-feedback on the PTO’s nanotechnology initiatives.  Blaise Moullet attended the meeting and provided background for the following summary:

Searching: A new cross-reference classification (977) will likely include search areas for (i) nanostructures; (ii) computer software for nanostructure modeling; (iii) manufacturing, treatment, or detection of nanostructures; and (iv) specific uses of nanostructures. The new classification system is intended to both ease examination and inform applicants and the public of the ‘state of the art.’

Global: The PTO has provided their proposed schedule to the EPO and JPO and is hoping that it will be adopted by each agency.

Concerns were raised that the PTO does not have specific plans for providing a core group of examiners with expertise in nanotechnology.  There are no definitive plans to form a nanotechnology art unit.