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PRINTING, DUPLICATING, MARKING, OR COPYING PROCESSES; COLOUR PRINTING, (correction of typographical errors B41J; processes for applying transfer pictures or the like B44C 1/16; fluid media for correction of typographical errors by coating C09D 10/00; printing textiles D06P)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Non-digital and digital printing processes in general, wherein an image or pattern is created on a substrate surface.
  • Materials used in such processes.
References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass/group does not cover:
Printing apparatuses
Producing decorative effects
Special designs or pictures
Printing textiles
Photomechanical (UV-photosensitive) recording
Xerography
Printing semiconductor devices
Printing printed circuits
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Inks as such
Paper as such
Inking and printing with a printer's forme
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Non-digital printing methods, i.e. "conventional" printing methods.
  • Only methods that are purely printing methods.
Relationship between large subject matter areas

The subgroups relating to different printing methods (e.g. intaglio printing, B41M 1/10) maybe used in combination with the subgroups relating to security printing, B41M 3/14.

Printing on other surfaces than ordinary paper (B41M 1/40 takes precedence)
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Ordinary paper
sheets made of traditional paper mass
Printing processes to produce particular kinds of printed work, e.g. patterns (special designs or pictures per se B44F; [N: printing apparatus or machines of special type or for particular purposes B41F 17/00; manufacturing organic semiconductor devices using printing techniques H01L51/40B2B]; manufacturing printed circuits using printing techniques H05K 3/12)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Digital or non-digital printing processes.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Rapid manufacturing and prototyping of 3D objects by additive depositing
[N: Colour cards; Painting supports; Latent or hidden images, e.g. for games; Time delayed images]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Scratch cards
Postcards; Greeting, menu, business or like cards; Letter cards or letter-sheets with peel-away layer hiding information
Designs or pictures characterised by special or unusual light effects
[N: Patterns of chemical products used for a specific purpose, e.g. pesticides, perfumes, adhesive patterns; use of micro encapsulated material; Printing on smoking articles]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

E.g. printing adhesive patterns, printing silver ink patterns.

Transfer pictures or the like, e.g. decalcomanias [N: (processes for producing decorative surface effects B44C 1/00; B41M 5/0256 takes precedence)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods of making (printing) the picture to be transferred.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Processes for applying transfer pictures or the like
Processes for decalcomanias; sheet material therefor
Security printing [N: (security documents B42D 15/00)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods which concern the security printing process.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The subgroups relating to different printing methods (e.g. intaglio printing, B41M 1/10) maybe used in combination with the subgroups relating to security printing, B41M 3/14.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Security documents
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Preventing copies being made of an original by using an original which is not reproducible or only reproducible with a different appearence
Testing paper currency
[N: Transitory images, i.e. images only visible from certain viewing angles]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

E.g. images printed with differently reflecting pigments.

Particular kinds of wallpapers
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods for printing on wallpapers.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Paperhanging
Flexible structures being applied by the user, e.g. wallpaper
Duplicating or marking methods; Sheet materials for use therein (by using light-sensitive materials G03; electrography, magnetography G03G; [N: repeatedly usable boards or tablets for writing or drawing B43L 1/00])
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Printing methods for printing on different kind of surfaces.
  • Digital printing, i.e. not using printer's forme.
  • Apparatus related methods excluded.
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Laminates
Inks
Uncoated paper
Labels
Materials or methods for recording or reproduction by optical means (DVDs, CDs)
Laser applications in general
[N: Digital printing methods characterised by the inks used (inks per se C09D 11/00)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods where the ink is used in a special way, e.g. two per se known inks are used in combination giving a special effect.

[N: Uncoated paper (paper making D21)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods for printing characterised by the ink receiving properties of the paper without a separate ink receiving layer.

[N: Digital printing on surfaces other than ordinary paper (B41M 5/0082 takes precedence; printing on textiles D06P 5/00)]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Deposition of organic semiconductor materials on a substrate by ink-jet printing
Special rules of classification within this group

In the subgroup B41M 5/0041 and in its hierarchical lower subgroups it is highly desirable to add, if applicable, complementary classification in B41M 5/0082 or in its hierarchical lower subgroups.

For example, if the invention is about an ink-jet printing method on a wooden surface, both classes B41M 5/0047 and B41M 5/0076 should be given.

However, if the invention is about an ink-jet printing method on a wooden surface having a particular shape (e.g. curved surface), the following classes should be given: B41M 5/0088 and B41M 5/0076.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Ordinary paper
sheets made of traditional paper mass
[N: Digital printing on bodies of particular shapes (sublimation or volatilisation of pre-printed design B41M 5/035)]
Special rules of classification within this group

In the subgroup B41M 5/0082 and in its hierarchical lower subgroups it is highly desirable to add, if applicable, complementary classification in B41M 5/0041 or in its hierarchical lower subgroups.

For example, if the invention is about an ink-jet printing method on a wooden surface, both classes B41M 5/0047 and B41M 5/0076 should be given.

However, if the invention is about an ink-jet printing method on a wooden surface having a particular shape (e.g. curved surface), the following classes should be given: B41M 5/0088 and B41M 5/0076.

by transferring ink from the master sheet
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Transfer printing with intermediate carrier.

The principle of transfer printing is as follows:

the image transfers by melting: B41M 2205/06

the image transfer by sublimation: B41M 2205/02

B41M 5/025 (melting image)

B41M 5/035 (sublimating image)

B41M 5/0256 (melting + sublimating image)

[N: the transferable ink pattern being obtained by means of a computer driven printer, e.g. an ink jet or laser printer, or by electrographic means]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

E.g. transfer pictures for T-shirts are quite often printed with this kind of method.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Computer driven printer
printers for digital printing methods, i.e. methods not using printer's form
by sublimation or volatilisation of [N: pre-printed] design, [N: e.g. sublistatic (B41M 5/0256 takes precedence; printing on textiles D06P 5/00)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Methods wherein the already printed design is transferred using heat on a substrate.
  • Only the design i.e. the ink is transferred and not the whole layer. The designs may be produced by the methods classified in B41M 5/0256.
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Methods concerning imagewise heating
[N: characterised by the mechanisms or artifacts to obtain the transfer, e.g. the heating means, the pressure means or the transport means]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Transfer printing apparatus
using pressure to make a masked colour visible, e.g. to make a coloured support visible, to create an opaque or transparent pattern, or to form colour by uniting colour-forming components
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Pressure sensitive papers.

Ablative recording, e.g. by burning marks; Spark recording [N: (marking by high energetic means, e.g. by laser otherwise than burning or ablative removal B41M 5/26; materials or methods for recording or reproduction by optical means G11B 7/00)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods wherein the material is removed from the surface (only ablation imaging).

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Working by laser beam, e.g. welding, cutting, boring
Processes for producing decorative surface effects by removing surface-material with laser radiation
Thermography (B41M 5/20, B41M 5/24 take precedence); [N: Marking by high energetic means, e.g. laser otherwise than by burning, and characterised by the material used (B23K takes precedence; thermographic or photothermographic systems using noble metal compounds G03C 1/494)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods wherein the material changes colour, when marked (without ablation).

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Laser applications in general
[N: recording or marking of inorganic surfaces or materials, e.g. glass, metal, or ceramics (marking of plastic artifacts with inorganic additives B41M 5/267)]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Marking glass
using thermochromic compounds or layers containing liquid crystals, microcapsules, bleachable dyes or heat- decomposable compounds, e.g. gas- liberating [N: (B41M 5/38271 takes precedence)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Also irreversible thermographic methods.
  • Characteristic for these methods is that there is no chemical reaction, i.e. the colour change takes place within one compound or by destroying said compound.
using chemical colour formers (B41M 5/34 takes precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Thermography without transfer, i.e. thermo-sensitive recording, direct thermal recording.
  • There is chemical reaction between two or more compounds, which results in colour change.
Special rules of classification within this group

The following table shows the relevant classification places for different layers of direct thermal recording sheets:

covering or protecting layer
B41M 5/42 and its hierarchical lower subgroups
imaging layer
support
backcoat
B41M 5/42 and its hierarchical lower subgroups

*An Indexing Code (a hierarchical lower subgroup of B41M 2205/00) is given to specify the printing method and layer (e.g. direct thermal printing, intermediate layer, back layer, etc.).

Colour developing components therefor, e.g. acidic compounds
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Colour developing components
anything that reacts with the colour formers
[N: Sulfur compounds, e.g. sulfones, sulfides, sulfonamides]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Sulphur compounds having phenolic or carboxylic acid groups.

using a polymeric layer, which may be particulate and which is deformed or structurally changed with modification of its properties, e.g. of its optical hydrophobic-hydrophilic, solubility or permeability properties [N: B41C 1/10 takes precedence]
Relationship between large subject matter areas

For lithographic printing plates normally only class in B41C 1/10 is given. However, a class is given in subgroup B41M 5/36 or in its hierarchical lower subgroups, when lithography is not mentioned in the independent claims.

Contact thermal transfer or sublimation processes (sublistatic printing using a pre-formed image B41M 5/035; ink-, dye- or pigment-receptive coatings B41M 5/52)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Only the donor layers for imagewise heating.
  • The donor layers of the thermal transfer ribbons are classified in this subgroup and its hierarchical lower subgroups.
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Deposition of organic semiconductor materials on a substrate using non liquid printing techniques, e.g. thermal transfer printing from a donor sheet
Special rules of classification within this group

The following table shows the relevant classification places for different layers of thermal transfer donor sheets:

donor layer
B41M 5/382 and its hierarchical lower subgroups
intermediate layer
B41M 5/42 and its hierarchical lower subgroups
substrate
backcoat
B41M 5/42 and its hierarchical lower subgroups

*An Indexing Code (a hierarchical lower subgroup of B41M 2205/00) is given to specify the printing method and layer (e.g. melt transfer, d2t2, intermediate layer, back layer, etc.).

The principles of melt transfer and sublimation transfer are as follows:

melt transfer:

B41M 5/382 and its hierarchical lower subgroups

+ B41M 2205/06 (for melt transfer)

sublimation transfer:

B41M 5/382 and its hierarchical lower subgroups

+ B41M 2205/02 (for sublimation transfer)

[N: Anthraquinone or naphthoquinone dyes]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

[N: Dyes containing one or more acyclic carbon-to-carbon double bonds, e.g., di- or tri-cyanovinyl, methine]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

[N: Dyes characterised by an acyclic -X=C group, where X can represent both nitrogen and a substituted carbon atom]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Dyes containing one or more carbon-to-nitrogen double bonds, e.g. azomethine
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

characterised by the base [N: backcoat], intermediate, or covering layers, [N: e.g. for thermal transfer dye-donor or dye-receiver sheets]; Heat, radiation filtering or absorbing means or layers; combined with other image registration layers or compositions; Special originals for reproduction by thermography [N: (macromolecular ink- or dye-receptive coatings B41M 5/52)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The layer structures of both direct thermal recording and thermal transfer sheets (= thermal transfer donor sheets and thermal transfer receiving sheets) except the image receiving layer of the thermal transfer receiving sheets (see the table below).

Special rules of classification within this group

Classification for thermal transfer receiving sheets:

image receiving layer
B41M 5/52 and its hierarchical lower subgroups
intermediate layer
B41M 5/42 and its hierarchical lower subgroups
Substrate
Backcoat
B41M 5/42 and its hierarchical lower subgroups

*An Indexing Code (a hierarchical lower subgroup of B41M 2205/00) is given to specify the printing method and layer (e.g. direct thermal printing, intermediate layer, back layer, etc.).

characterised by the light-to-heat converting means; characterised by the heat or radiation filtering or absorbing means or layers
Special rules of classification within this group

An Indexing Code (a hierarchical lower subgroup of B41M 2205/00) shall be used to show which layer is in question, e.g. intermediate layer, cover layer or back layer.

Recording sheets characterised by the coating used to improve ink, dye or pigment receptivity, e.g. for ink-jet or thermal dye transfer recording [N: (printing on organic plastics using a printer's form B41M 1/30; printing on pre-treated paper with a printer's form B41M 1/36)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The subgroup B41M 5/50 and its hierarchical lower subgroups cover also recording sheets for non-digital printing methods (i.e. methods classified in group B41M 1/00 and its hierarchical lower subgroups).

Special rules of classification within this group

The following table shows the relevant classification places for different layers of all but thermal recording sheets:

ink receiving layer
B41M 5/52 and its hierarchical lower subgroups
intermediate layer
substrate
backcoat

*An Indexing Code (a hierarchical lower subgroup of B41M 2205/00) is given to specify the layer (e.g. intermediate layer, back layer, etc.).

In the following the principle of transfer printing when the whole layer with the printed image is transferred is shown:

for the method: B41M 2205/10

for the receiver: B41M 5/50 and/or B41M 5/52 and their hierarchical lower subgroups

for the protective layer: B41M 7/0027, B41M 7/0036, B41M 7/0045 or B41M 7/0054

[N: characterised by structural details, e.g. multilayer materials (supports, backcoats or intermediate layers for thermal dye transfer donor and receiver sheets B41M 5/41, B41M 5/42)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Intermediate, support, and backcoat layers for non-thermal receiving elements.
  • Particular shapes in receiving sheets, e.g. perforations, missing corners.
Macromolecular coatings
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Ink, dye or pigment receiving coatings/layers for recording sheets.

After-treatment of prints, e.g. heating, irradiating, [N: setting of the ink, protection of the printed stock (pre-treatment or treatment during printing B41M 5/0011; printers for treating or overcoating copy materials before, during or after printing B41J 11/0015)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Any kind of after-treatment of previously printed material, also protective coatings.
  • After-treatment of both digitally and non-digitally (by conventional printing methods) printed products.
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Pre-treatment or treatment during printing
[N: Obliterating the printed matter; Non-destructive removal of the ink pattern, e.g. for repetitive use of the support]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

E.g. methods relating to mechanical removing of the ink.

[N: Application of ink-fixing material after printing, e.g. by ink-jet printing, coating or spraying]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Application of ink-fixing material on the substrate prior to printing
Processes wherein make-ready devices are used (make-ready devices per se B41N 6/00)
Subject matter not provided for in other groups of this subclass
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Last Modified: 10/11/2013