Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)
Chapter 900: Prior Art, Classification, and Search

Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

Chapter 900: Prior Art, Classification, and Search

901: Prior Art

901.01: Canceled Matter in U.S. Patent Files

901.01(a): Ordering of Patented and Abandoned Provisional and Nonprovisional Application Files

901.02: Abandoned Applications

901.03: Pending Applications

901.04: U.S. Patents

901.04(a): Kind Codes

901.05: Foreign Patent Documents

901.05(a): Citation Data

901.05(b): Other Significant Data

901.05(c): Obtaining Copies

901.05(d): Translation

901.06: Nonpatent Publications

901.06(a): Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC)

901.06(b): Borrowed Publications

901.06(c): Alien Property Custodian Publications

901.06(d): Abstracts, Abbreviatures, and Defensive Publications

901.07: Patent Family Information

901.08: [Reserved]

902: Search Tools and Classification Information

902.01: Classification Manual for the U.S. Patent Classification System

902.01(a): Index to the U.S. Patent Classification System

902.02: Class and Subclass Definitions in USPC

902.02(a): Definition Notes in USPC

902.02(b): [Reserved]

902.03: Classification Information

902.03(a): Patent Classification Home Page on the Internet

902.03(b): Patent Classification Home Page on the USPTO Intranet

902.03(c): [Reserved]

902.03(d): [Reserved]

902.03(e): Automated Search Tools: EAST and WEST

903: Classification in USPC

903.01: Statutory Authority

903.02: Basis and Principles of Classification

903.02(a): [Reserved]

903.02(b): Scope of a Class in the USPC

903.03: Availability of Foreign Patents

903.04: Classifying Applications for Publication as a Patent Application Publication in USPC

903.05: Addition, Deletion, or Transfer of U.S. Patents and U.S. Patent Application Publications

903.06: Harmonized Subclasses

903.07: Classifying and Cross-Referencing at Allowance

903.07(a): Cross-Referencing — Keep Systematic Notes During Prosecution

903.08: Applications: Assignment and Transfer

903.08(a): New Applications

903.08(b): Classification and Assignment to Examiner

903.08(c): Immediate Inspection of Amendments

903.08(d): Transfer Procedure

903.08(e): General Guidelines Governing the Assignment of Nonprovisional Applications for Examination

903.09: [Reserved]

903.09(a): [Reserved]

904: How to Search

904.01: Analysis of Claims

904.01(a): Variant Embodiments Within Scope of Claim

904.01(b): Equivalents

904.01(c): Analogous Arts

904.02: General Search Guidelines

904.02(a): Classified Search

904.02(b): Search Tool Selection

904.02(c): Internet Searching

904.03: Conducting the Search

905: Cooperative Patent Classification

905.01: Classification Scheme for CPC

905.01(a): CPC Titles

905.01(a)(1): References within CPC Titles

905.01(a)(2): Notes Found in CPC schemes

905.01(a)(3): Warnings Found in CPC schemes

905.01(a)(4): Guidance Headings Found in CPC Schemes

905.02: CPC Definitions

905.03: Classifying in CPC

905.03(a): The CPC Database

905.03(b): Approach to classification in CPC

905.03(c): Combination Sets

906: International Classification of Patents for Inventions

907: Locarno Classification Designations