The UK Patent Office is seeking views in (yet another) public consultation. This time the subject-matter is whether the UK should retain its own patent classification key (the list of codes which identify the type of technology which is the subject of patent applications). The continuing need for the UK’s key has been called into question since the European Patent Office has its own key and there is an internationally recognised system under the PCT.
The Patent Office has identified 3 possible outcomes:
- Continue to use the UKC key as at present
- Freeze the key and continue to apply the frozen UKC terms to all published UK patent specifications
- Abandon the UKC key and no longer apply UKC terms to published patent specifications