With an aim to “streamline” the application process and “improve” examination quality, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) have announced their expanded cooperation in patent classification activities. To that end, KIPO will reportedly increase the number of technical areas in which it classifies patent documents using the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system—a USPTO and European Patent Office jointly managed classification system, which debuted January 1, 2013.
“KIPO plans to gradually expand the technical fields in which the CPC is used in KIPO and will continue to work with the USPTO in this effort,” said KIPO Commissioner Young-min Kim. “It is expected that the use of the unified classification system . . . will contribute to highly efficient retrieval of patent documents in the expanded technical fields.” See USPTO News Release, June 5, 2014.