Monday, March 29, 2010

Class 705 Schedule Changes, Classification Order 1892 - Installment 1

Mike Bowman has provided an introduction to the recent changes to Class 705 under Classification Order 1892, which added subclasses 705/300 through 348 and that were inserted by the USPTO between Subclass 705/45 and 705/400, with the exception of Digital Rights Management, 705/901-912, which is for cross-reference discretionary classification listings only and will be discussed in a future installment. For this particular project, Mike and I reclassified some 4,000 documents according to subject matter, which were originally classified as 705/1.

This is the first of a five (5) part series to describe the changes and some of the inventive content that may appear in this subclass array. This installment covers subclasses 300 through 316.

We have included the subclass section 300 through 316 that is under discussion below for reference. For the complete Schedule and Definition listing for 300 through 348, use this link to get to the Classification Order.

300 . Collaborative creation of a product or a service

301 . Workflow collaboration or project management

302 . Product or service warranty

303 . Product recall

304 . Customer service (i.e., after purchase)

305 . Product repair or maintenance administration

306 . Product appraisal

307 . Rental (i.e., leasing)

308 . Product recycling or disposal administration

309 . Alternate dispute resolution

310 . Intellectual property management

311 . Legal service

312 .. Estate planning

313 . Real estate

314 .. Property management

315 .. Land development

316 .. Closing

As a reminder, anything classified in Class 705 must involve apparatus or method applied to data processing operations for some type of business processes. Starting with 300 and 301, the subject matter covers collaborative operations such as methodology that involves product or service concept development that occurs between various parties or for that matter, various businesses. In the case of 301, it is project related collaborative activities, that not 705/8 resource related or 705/9 staff related task in a project.

The subclasses 302 through 306, and 308 can be considered services for clients that primarily occur after the sale of the product or the service that is being rendered, such as processes for administering a warranty, including product safety or defects recall. In 305, this is subject matter related to methodology for administering repairs of anything considered a product, in 306 any appraisal process for determining the remaining value of anything that is a commodity, which can be applied to the insurance, banking and real estate industry, just to name a few possible applications. Subclass 308, product recycling or disposal administration, is going to become huge, and will include methodology for processing waste, waste stream management, waste sorting and recycling. For example, battery reclamation and electronic component reclamation processes may be classified here.

Back tracking in the revised Schedule to 307, the Definition for 307 “Rental (i.e., leasing)” states this is “Subject matter drawn to a computerized arrangement for the creation or maintenance of a record keeping system for recording the allocation of the temporary use of commodities”.

There is a problem here. The USPTO “Handbook of Classification” specifies that a Claim is classified in the first occurring subclass that accepts the claimed subject matter at least in part or in whole. Record keeping of resource allocation, regardless of the resource being leased, is an administrative function for a resource that is being allocated. If properly classified, this subject matter will always stop first in 705/8, “Allocating resources or scheduling for an administrative function”, which based on the subject matter, means that 307 will at best only be a Discretionary classification listing.

310 relates to intellectual property rights management of copyrightable works, patented inventions, trademarks, trade secrets, etc…such as methodology involving licensing, royalties or other means for protecting intellectual property, which could include litigation methodology applied to property rights.

The coverage of 311 is very broad: “…computerized arrangement for work performed by a lawyer for a client”. There is one indent to 311, Subclass 312 for estate planning, for subject matter limited to legal arrangements that will be executed post-life subject matter, which claim dependent, may stop in higher in 705/30, 705/36R or 36T.

The 313 through 316 Subclass array cover real estate development, construction of buildings, buying and selling of land including natural resources, with additions breakouts for services applied to managing commercial, industrial or residential real estate property in 314, methods for increasing property value in 315, and methods applied to transfer of property ownership from one party to another in 316. A good deal of this collective subject matter must be read carefully for content that stops higher in the Schedule in 705/8, 705/30 and 705/35.

Mike Bowman with provide Part 2 of this 5 part series, which will cover a breakdown of 705/317-325, inventions in the areas of business or product certification, social networking, human resources, destination assistance within a business complex, and personal security.

My next installment, Part 3, will cover 705/326-328,329,330-341, covering new breakouts related to business process involving education, fundraising, and shipping processes.

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