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.

  • @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:

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