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Examining the trajectory of a standard for patent classification: An institutional account of a technical cooperation between EPO and USPTO

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Author: Cavalheiro, G.M.C. · Joia, L.A. · Veenstra, A.F. van
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Source:Technology in Society, 46, 10-17
Identifier: 535480
doi: doi:10.1016/j.techsoc.2016.04.004
Keywords: Economics · Intellectual property · Standards · Actor-network theory (ANT) · Patent classification · Infostructures · Information Society · Urban Mobility & Environment · SPO - Strategy & Policy · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


This paper explores the dynamics of standardization practices associated with patent classification and discusses the technical, legal and policy implications of standard-setting for patent classification. Therefore, this paper aims to fill a gap in the literature on knowledge management, based on an analysis of the development and implementation of Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC). This paper examines the processes of developing a standard for classifying patent applications from the perspective of Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Our findings reveal that standardization in the context of patent classification is primarily shaped by the interaction involving patent offices that belong to the IP5 group. Furthermore, we found evidence that the CPC standard can be regarded as a response to the demands posed by innovative firms requiring accurate patent classification to provide secure protection for their new technologies. © 2016.