dérer les résultats, la mécanisation promet d'être un moyen efficace de perfectionnement des procédés de classification et de recherche.
As indicated by its title this paper will be limited in its discussion of classification to that as practiced in the United States Patent Office, and the problems involved will be illustrated where possible reference to the field of petroleum. The system now in use will first be reviewed, followed by a discussion of techniques now being developed for ineclianical searching of documents. No distinction will be attempted between classification and documentation.
The field of endeavour and invention with which the Patent Office must cope covers the entire fields of technology and applied science, and an adequate classification must, in order to serve its intended purpose, divide and arrange the body and multitudinous units of the useful arts so that one may with reasonable assurance locate that art segment in which not only the precise thing sought will be found if not new but where will also be found the closest resemblance to the thing sought.
The Patent Office classification bears a close likeness to other known scientific classifications but in addition to the usual requirements there are superposed upon it others necessitated by the dictates of the patent laws of the United States, ancl these legal considerations present specialized problems in classification.
It is a fundamental concept in establishing a classification that the paramount consideration to be kept in mind is the use to which it is to be put. No classification scheme possesses sufficient versatility to serve the needs of all who wish to investigate the material placed therein, and the Patent Office classification must be peculiarly adapted for its particular purpose or utility. Later reference to the types of searches required should amply serve to illustrate this.
The examination system followed in the United States requires that the Commissioner of Patents refuse to grant a patent for an invention which is not new. In both applications for patent as well as in patents themselves, the invention is set forth and defined in the claim or claims, the monopoly being limited to the so defined subject matter as interpreted and limited by but not extended to the general disclosure of the specificatiun. Thus in order that it may be determined if the alleged invention is new and patentable under the law the classification must possess the characteristics needed for such consideration as dictated by the law and past experiences.
The principles that have been developed and applied in formulating the Patent Office classification, the division and arrangement of the many categories of subject matter, the positional relationship and superiority of subdivisions, and similar matters have already been published elsewhere (1,2,3)" and need not be included here since