We had the second part of classification today.
Part of an examiner’s job when first looking at an application is to figure out whether or not she should even be working on it. All applications come into the office and are pre-classified, mostly based on keywords, and are shuttled off to wherever seems appropriate. As a result, there are some near misses. Applications usually get into the right Technology Center. It isn’t rare, however, for them to fall into the wrong art unit.
So why should an examiner look at the classification on her applications carefully? Well, working on something outside of your specialty means that you’ll probably be less efficient, for one. Especially during training, working on applications in your class gives you valuable experience; working on applications outside your class only gives you experience in realizing too late that you screwed up.
Finally, the examiner must classify the invention when it is time to allow it. This is essential so that the rest of us can do classification searches (searching for only things that belong in a certain category), and as an initial hint to what the invention is before we even read the abstract or spec.
Our lecture today covered some of the international standards as well as giving a refresher on US practices.
We also had a lecture on TSP and FERS, which was very helpful.