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I am completely confused by the definition of these subgroups of IPC classes. Could anyone please explain me these in layman's term? Like which kind of patents are defined in these groups (User interface, home utilities, automobiles, etc.) or just a simple definition so that I can differentiate the patents according to their use.

  1. G06F 3/00 - Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements.

  2. H04L 29/00 - Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L 1/00-H04L 27/00

  3. G06F 17/00 - Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific.

  4. G06Q 10/00 - ?

  5. H04M 1/00 - ?
  6. H04N 21/00 - ?
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The IPC works hierarchically, so that any class (such as G06F 3/00) includes the characteristics of the classes above it (such as G, G06 and G06F). Looking at a particular classification alone can therefore be a bit confusing.

All the quotes below are taken from the IPC . The IPC is written in a way to make it technically clear but entirely unreadable to the casual observer. So apologies, because this answer is about to get dull.

G06F 3/00

G06 covers computing and calculating generally. This includes, among other things, operations on numerical values and on data expressed in numerical form.

G06F covers electric digital data processing in general, but which does not use a specific computational model (like biological, knowledge-based or fuzzy logic), since that would be in G06N.

G06F 3/00 covers:

Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements

Thus an invention in G06F 3/00 relates to:

  • computing and calculating; (G06)
  • doing so using digital data; (G06F)
  • either: (1) taking non-digital data and making it digital; or (2) interfaces for outputting processed data. (G06F 3/00)

H04L 29/00

H04 covers the electrical communication.

H04L covers the electrical transmission of digital information.

H04L 29/00 covers:

Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L 1/00-H04L 27/00.

Because this classification references a number of other classes, we have no option but to go trawling through the rest of H04L.

H04L 1/00-H04L 27/00 cover:

  • Arrangements for detecting or preventing errors in the information received (H04L 1/00)
  • Arrangements affording multiple use of the transmission path (H04L 5/00)
  • Arrangements for synchronising receiver with transmitter (H04L 7/00)
  • Arrangements for secret or secure communication (H04L 9/00)
  • Data switching networks (H04L 12/00)
  • Details of the apparatus or circuits covered by groups H04L 15/00 or H04L 17/00 (H04L 13/00)
  • Apparatus or local circuits for transmitting or receiving dot-and-dash codes, e.g. Morse code (H04L 15/00)
  • Apparatus or local circuits for transmitting or receiving codes wherein each character is represented by the same number of equal-length code elements, e.g. Baudot code (H04L 17/00)
  • Apparatus or local circuits for step-by-step systems (H04L 19/00)
  • Apparatus or local circuits for mosaic printer telegraph systems (H04L 21/00)
  • Apparatus or local circuits for telegraphic systems other than those covered by groups H04L 15/00-H04L 21/00 (H04L 23/00)
  • Baseband systems (H04L 25/00)
  • Modulated-carrier systems (H04L 27/00)

Thus an invention in H04L 29/00 relates to:

  • electrical communication; (H04)
  • of digital information; (H04L)
  • which does not fall into any of the other categories noted above. (H04L 29/00)

G06F 17/00

G06 and G06F are above.

G06F 17/00 covers:

Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions.

On its own, this doesn't tell you much. However, some of the subclasses are helpful. G06F 17/16 is for "matrix or vector computation" and G06F 17/20 is for "handling natural language data". These two examples are reasonably unrelated, so G06F 17/00 must therefore be a very broad class. I would expect that a more specific classification (such as G06F 17/16) would be more appropriate than the /00 classification in basically all cases, given this breadth.

In any case, an invention in G06F 17/00 relates to:

  • computing and calculating; (G06)
  • doing so using digital data; (G06F)
  • doing so for a specific purpose, not just in general. (G06F 17/00)

G06Q 10/00

G06 is above.

G06Q covers systems and methods for "administrative, commercial, financial, managerial, supervisory or forecasting". This is what we would typically regard as business methods.

G06Q 10/00 covers the administration or management options.

Thus an invention in G06Q 10/00 relates to:

  • computing and calculating; (G06)
  • for administration or management of something. (G06Q 10/00)

H04M 1/00

H04 is above.

H04M covers "telephonic communication". Essentially anything to do with telephones.

H04M 1/00 covers:

Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers.

Subscribers are defined as "a general term for terminal equipment, e.g. telephones for public use;".

Thus an invention in H04M 1/00 relates to:

  • electrical communication; (H04)
  • for telephones; (H04M)
  • which relates to substation equipment, such as a telephone for a user. (H04M 1/00)

H04N 21/00

H04 is above.

H04N covers "pictorial communication, e.g. television". Essentially anything to do with video.

H04N 21/00 covers:

selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]

H04N 21/00 therefore covers any form of television where the user has some control over what they see (and systems and methods related to this).

Thus an invention in H04N 21/00 relates to:

  • electrical communication; (H04)
  • for video; (H04N)
  • which allows a user to have some input in what they see. (H04N 21/00)

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