It has been already some time when expert groups from Europe and the United States are meeting and discussing how to combine two different patent classification systems. Patent classification was created at the early stage of patent system creation in order to classify inventions according to the technical fields. Such indication not only allows filtering of all inventions belonging to the same field. It also facilitates the patent search a lot.
When a patent search is performed, willing to figure out if an idea is already protected, certain combinations of keywords are used. More advanced searches are made by combining keywords with classification codes. The use of classification in a search allows reducing the number of keywords used in a single query, thus reducing the risk of using too narrow keywords and keeping the amount of search results to a reasonable level.
Two key types of patent classification exist: European and International (used in US).
A lot of work and expertise is put in creating those two classification systems. Many experts of each technical field have submitted proposals and changes. Naturally, the two classifications became quite different during the time run.
Now those experts are meeting together to make a unified patent classification. It is called "The Cooperative Patent Classification".
Benefits of such united classification system would include simplified and unified search of patent documents, less mistakes, better options for international cooperation in exchanging results of a search report, thus cheaper validation and extension procedures. In other words it would bring more homogeneity to the global patent system. There is no doubt that such cooperative classification would be followed and adopted by the rest of the world.