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Have there been any attempts at classifying patent classes? I can see that the design classes is one group. I am wondering if it is possible to create groups such as chemistry, manufacturing, etc. Or even at a abstract level for things like processes, widgets. I realize that there will be overlap and cross references.

I am looking for a grouping of patent classes.

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@George White's answer was 'correct'. However, keeping this open in case there are other responses. – nilanjan Sep 25 '13 at 8:50

Look no further, it has been done, at least twice!

The examination corp is organized into Technology Centers.

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Under that level are Art Units and each art unit is responsible for a handful of classes.

The USPTO recently started transitioning to a new joint US/EPO classification system called CPC that is based on the European system but with more granularity in the leaf nodes. Like the international system, it has a logical top level:

enter image description here

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For the patent tech. centers, I can't seem to figure out how I find the related classes, e.g., for 1600 which are the patent classes. for the CPC, I assume I need to map the CPC classes to the USPTO classes? – nilanjan Sep 24 '13 at 5:38

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