Patents > Guidance, Tools & Manuals > Class 977 Nanotechnology Cross-Reference Art Collection

Class 977 Nanotechnology Cross-Reference Art Collection

As part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s continuing effort to improve the ability to search and examine nanotechnology-related patent documents, the agency has created over 250 cross-reference art collection subclasses in Class 977, Nanotechnology.  This class provides for disclosures:

  • related to research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length of scale of approximately 1-100 nanometer range in at least one dimension, and
  • that provide a fundamental understanding of phenomena and materials at the nano-scale and to create and use structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their size.

In addition to the class schedule, Class 977 includes a definition for each subclass and search notes to related classifications in other U.S. classes.  While every effort has been made to make the subclasses as complete as possible, the agency encourages patent examiners to classify newly issuing patents as well as previously published patent documents into the Class 977 cross-reference art collection subclasses in order to:

  • facilitate the searching of prior art related to Nanotechnology,
  • function as a collection of issued U.S. patents and published pre-grant patent applications relating to Nanotechnology across the technology centers, and
  • assist in the further development of an expanded, more comprehensive, nanotechnology cross-reference art collection classification schedule.

For questions regarding the Class 977 cross-reference art collection subclasses for nanotechnology, please contact Terrence Mackey at (703) 756-1843 ( or Richard Elms at (571) 272-1869 (


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