Class 525 provides for all processes or products wherein a solid polymer is chemically modified or admixed with an additional solid polymer. It also provides for processes or products involving nonsolid specified intermediate condensation products which are admixed with an additional specified intermediate condensation product or specified polymer forming ingredients. In addition, this class provides for vinyl alcohol polymers or modified forms thereof and for polyesters admixed with an ethylenic reactant.
LINES WITH OTHER CLASSES
(A) Listed below are rules to be followed in placing patents into and in determining the appropriate subclasses to be searched in Class 525.
(1) ETHYLENIC POLYMERS - The following rules are applicable to subclasses 55-388.
(a) When a polymer derived from ethylenic reactants only is not specified as a liquid or terms which are generally regarded as indicating a liquid (e.g., wax, waxy, etc.) it will be regarded as being a solid (e.g., polyethylene, polystyrene, etc.).
(b) Products are classified on the basis of their preparation. A product identified by a structure is to be placed with the process of its preparation; for instance, a product identified, as illustrated below, and which product from the disclosures is prepared by the reaction of
polyacryloamide and formaldehyde is classified on the basis of polyacryloamide reacted with formaldehyde in a case involving rubber (e.g., halogenated, etc.) classification is on the basis of a solid polymer derived from isoprene. [figure]
(c) All subclasses are based on a process of mixing. Products, per se, therefore are classified on the basis of the process of mixing.
(d) All solid polymers (subclasses 191+) are classified on the basis of the initial solid polymer derived from ethylenic reactants (e.g., a mixture of a halogenated polybutadiene and polyethylene is classified as an original in subclass 232 rather than as a halogen containing reactant, for example, in subclass 213). (e) A process of halogenating polybutadiene and subsequently blending same with polyethylene is classified as in (D) above.
(f) In those subclasses which require the combination of two or more reactants (e.g., subclass 165 or subclass 178, etc.) the two reactants need not be added simultaneously to the ethylenic polymer, nor need they be reacted together prior to addition with the ethylenic polymer. They may be added subsequently, or there may be an intermediate reactant which is not, per se, the type required in these subclasses (e.g., other than amine, polycarboxylic acid, polyol, etc.). However, if the intermediate reactant is provided higher in the schedule (e.g., isocyanate, polyepoxide) it is classified in the higher provided subclass, etc.
(g) Compositions which have been admixed and are not in a reacted state are classified on the basis of the reactants in the schedule hierarchy.
(h) The following rules apply to subclasses 100+, 107+, 123+, 132+, 153, 154+, 165+, and 178+. Each of the above subclasses provide for:
(i) The reaction of an ethylenic polymer and a saturated reactant required by that subclass or polymer thereof (e.g., aldehyde, phenols, etc.).
(ii) The physical blend of an ethylenic polymer and a solid polymer derived from a saturated reactant required by that subclass.
(iii) The physical blend of an ethylenic polymer and a solid polymer derived from at least one ethylenic reactant required by that subclass and at least one saturated coreactant.
(iv) The mixture of an ethylenically unsaturated polymer and a specified intermediate condensation product, specified polymer forming ingredients, or solid polymer thereof, which is other than solely derived from ethylenic materials and
wherein an ingredient required by that subclass is ethylenic and is part of the specified intermediate condensation product, specified polymer forming ingredient system, or solid polymer; or wherein the material required by that subclass is ethylenic and is in addition to a solid polymer, polymer forming ingredient system, or intermediate condensation containing at least one saturated reactant.
(v) Excluded from these subclasses are those processes or products wherein an ethylenic polymer is admixed with ethylenic material (e.g., polyacrolein or acrolein) only or polymers thereof.
(vi) Included herein are those situations wherein a treatment is effected on a polymer with part of a specified polymer forming ingredient system and in which a later reactant is added which forms a specified polymer-forming ingredient system therewith. The ehtylenic reactant which is required by that subclass can be part of the polymer-forming ingredient system or it may be part of the specified intermediate condensation product.
(2) CONDENSATES - PROCESSES: The following rules are applicable to subclasses 389-540. (a) Processes of preparing products are classified with the product in the absence of any specified process subclass.
(b) Processes of treating a previously treated product are classified on the basis of the original solid polymer originally formed, e.g., treating a starting halogenated polyamide with an epoxy is classified as an original in the first appearing subclass of the schedule that provides for treating a polyamide with a halogen or epoxy, etc. If the process of preparing the starting materials is not claimed and the claimed step is provided in a lower subclass than the process if claimed of preparing the starting material, then a cross-reference into the claimed process is appropriate, e.g., Schedule reads as follows:
. treating with halogen
. treating with epoxy
Halogenated polyamide is treated with an epoxy. The original is placed into the halogen subclass and should be cross-referenced into the epoxy subclass. If, however, the steps of halogenating and epoxidizing are claimed, the original is placed into the halogenating subclass and a cross-reference into the epoxy subclass is deemed to be optional.
(c) When a condensate polymer is not specified as a solid or
identified by properties which identify it as a solid e.g., melting point, etc., then it is considered a liquid and as such is treated as a reactant.
(d) When a condensate polymer is noted in generic terms or is identified by a trade name or manufacturer, it is to be regarded as follows:
polyester = reaction product of a saturated dicarboxylic acid or derivative and ethylene glycol.
polyamide = reaction product of a saturated dicarboxylic acid or derivative and a diamine. polyamide = identified as a nylon 6 is the reaction product of a caprolactam.
polyphenyleneoxide = reaction product of a monohydric phenol.
polyarylene sulfide = polyphenylene sulfide reaction product of an alkali metal sulfide reactant and a halogenated aromatic reactant.
polyoxymethylene = formaldehyde polymer.
polycarbonate = reaction product of halhal or OO and a dihydric aromatic dialcohol.
polyurethane = reaction product of R-(N=C=X)2(X is chalcogen) and ethylene glycol.
polyurea = reaction product of R-(N=C=X)2(X is chalcogen) and a diamine.
novalac = reaction product of formaldehyde and a monohydric phenol.
resole = reaction product of formaldehyde and a monohydric phenol.
aminoplast = reaction product of formaldehyde and an amine.
phenoplast = reaction product of formaldehyde and a monohydric phenol.
(e) In a multistep process of treating a polymer the first appearing step of treating in the schedule array provides for the original placement. Claim reads:
polyamide treated sequentially with X, Y, and Z
. treating with y
. treating with z
. treating with x
The original with Y, which is the first appearing subclass in schedule
(f) In those processes wherein two reactants are required to treat a solid polymer material (e.g., polyamide treated with a polyol and a polycarboxylic acid, the polyol and carboxylic acid can be added concurrently, sequentially, or even an intermittent step of adding material between the addition of the polyol and polycarboxylic acid may be involved).
(g)(i) In a multistep process wherein materials are reacted together and an intermediate solid polymer is formed which is subsequently reacted, all of the materials recited up to the step of preparing the intermediate solid polymer are regarded as reactants in preparing a solid polymer, and all materials which are reacted with the intermediate solid polymer are regarded as treating agents.
A + BC (no identity recited) to solid C + D[E] Intermediate solid polymer [E] hal" hal [E]
(ii) Reactants to prepare intermediate solid polymer are A, B, and D.
A + BC (no identity recited as to solid nature)
C + DE D is a solid polymer higher in schedule array than (C) if it were a solid polymer, therefore classified as original with (D)
(iii) A + BC (no identity as to solid nature)
C + DE D is a solid polymer lower in the schedule array than C if C was solid.
Classified as original with (D) and cross-referenced to (C). In this situation (C) is regarded for cross-referencing purposes as if it were a solid.
(h) A process of preparing a reactable composition is classified on the basis of the reactants involved in preparing the composition.
(3) PRODUCTS - CONDENSATES
(a) All products must be classified on the basis of their preparation as indicated by the disclosure.
(b) When products are to be classified all rules to processes described hereinbefore are applicable. (c) A method of preparing a polymerizable composition is classified as a process on the basis of the reactants recited in preparing the polymerizable composition.
(4) ETHYLENIC OR CONDENSATION POLYMERS For purposes of classification:
(a) A solid polymer is always considered as being a reactant.
(b) A solid polymer is always classified on the reactants utilized in its preparation, e.g., natural rubber is classified as based on isoprene.
(c) In this class once the solid polymer is identified, all modifications thereof are included in the indents thereunder "specified as mixed". For instance, mixing a solid polyphenylene oxide with a silicon modified polyester is classified in subclass 393. Subclass 393 provides for processes starting with or treating a solid polyphenylene oxide with a silicon containing reactant and subsequently admixing same with a silicon or nonsilicon containing polyester, or for processes of admixing a solid polyphe
nylene oxide with a silicon containing polyester, or treating a mixture of a solid polyphenylene oxide and polyester with a silicon containing reactant.
(d) Processes wherein two or more reactants (ethylenic or nonethylenic) are reacted at preferential conditions so that one reactant forms a solid polymer while the other reactant is substantially unchanged and which other reactant is then subsequentially reacted with the formed solid polymer are classified in Class 526, 527, or 528. When, however, such a product is admixed with an additional solid polymer, specified polymer forming ingredients, or with a specified intermediate condensation product it is proper for this class (525). When the product is derived from ethylenic monomers only and is identified as a block or graft polymer and is subsequently admixed with an additional solid polymer, specified intermediate condensation product, or specified polymer forming ingredients, it is classified in this class (525) as if it were a block or graft copolymer. When the patentee discloses that a polymeric mixture is prepared by the interpolymerization of two or more reactants, A + B polymer, AB + polymer A, etc., such a product or process is proper in Classes 526, 527, or 528.
(e) Aftertreatment of a solid inorganic polymer with an organic compound to form an organic group containing polymer is proper in Class 526, 527, or 528. To be proper for this class (525) a solid organic polymer must be chemically treated.
(f) Patents in subclasses 192-196, 337, 338, and 503-508 which recite "chemical treating agent" are classified as follows:
(i) A "chemical treating agent" for purposes of this class is a chemical material which is added to the formed polymer and which causes or is present during a process wherein a change in a bond of the polymer is effected.
(ii) These subclasses provide for all chemical aftertreatments of a previously formed polymer derived from only ethylenic monomers when such aftertreatments are performed in the presence of a chemical agent, including treatments that are performed with chemical agents that are not specific as to identity or amount of the chemical agent, with the exception of mere reference to cross-linking, curing, or vulcanizing. (iii) Claims are classified in these subclasses on the basis of the first-appearing material utilized as part of the chemical agent. No attempt has been made to classify on the basis of the chemically active material and therefore all materials in a composition are regarded equally (e.g., diluent, reactant, catalyst, etc.).
(iv) Claims to a composition or method of preparing (e.g., polymer plus a chemical reactive material) are classified as if they were process claims and as if the actual process has gone to completion.
(g) This class (525) includes processes of preparing solid polymers or resinifiable intermediate condensation products from a mixture of reactants wherein one of the initial reactants is used in an excessive amount with the expressed purpose of being used in a subsequent step to form with an added reactant a specified polymer-forming mixture. The original reaction mixture must produce a solid polymer or resinifiable intermediate condensation product and the process must recite the addition of the added reactant which, together with the excess of original reactant, forms the specified polymer-forming ingredients.
(B) Listed below are lines between particular Clas 525 subclasses and other areas (e.g., other Class 525 areas or other Classes).
(1) Lines relative to subclases 192+
A chemical agent is a material which can react with the polymer to cause a modification in the polymer's chemical structure. Proper for this subclass would be, e.g., chemical reactions as halogenation, sulfonation, nitration, vulcanization, etc. Additionally, the treating agent if an ethylenic reactant, may preferentially homo- or copolymerize with other reactants to produce additional polymers. A patent which claims both product and process for producing a polymeric mixture containing a graft copolymer starting with
two ethylenically derived polymers and an ethylenic reactant, requires that the original be classified Class 525 subclasses 192+ and should be crossed into the graft copolymer subclasses 63+. See Class 523, subclasses 1+ for a mixture of polymers with nonpolymeric material whose only purpose is, e.g., to enhance processibility of the polymers, stabilize against deterioration or aid deterioration after a given time (prodegradant), or act as a nucleating or crystallizing agent, etc. Search Class 528, subclasses 480+ for the treating of polymeric mixture in order to destroy residual catalyst or remove or neutralizimpurities. However, the neutralization of a polymeric salt with an acid or base is classified here. Included here also are processes wherein one or more polymers are chemically aftertreated and subsequently blended with themselves or with other polymers.
(2) Lines relative to subclases 242+
Subclass 242+ and indented subclasses also contain polymers prepared from a combination of ethylenic reactants mixed with nonethylenic reactants when reacted in the presence of ethylenically polymerized polymers, e.g., ethylene-ethylene oxide copolymer, propylene-sulfur dioxide copolymer. However, for the process of mixing such polymers see this class, subclass 185. Product claims are classified on the basis of ethylenic reactants either in the polymerized or unpolymerized state and cross-referenced to the nonethylenic reactant as being specified materials in this class, subclasses 244+. Process claims, of course, are classified according to claimed specified materials and, if lacking, then they are classified on the basis of the product.
(3) Lines relative to subclases 267
This subclass excludes the presence of a preformed polymer derived from ethylenic reactants only. This subclass is to be clearly distinguished from subclass 244 wherein the solid polymer, whether or not prepared in situ, is contacted both by an ethylenic reactant and a specified material. In the present subclasses the in situ prepared polymer is contacted with an ethylenic reactant. Typically, the polymer is not isolated or purified but is further reacted with an ethylenic reactant. For example, styrene is contacted with lithium butyl catalyst which results in formation of lithium terminated polystyrene block. The in situ-prepared polymer is then reacted with butadiene to produce polybutadiene-polystyrene block copolymer.
(4) Lines relative to subclases 326.1 through 388 (a) The following rules apply in classifying a claim into this area of the Class 525 schedule:
(i) For purposes of clarification in this part of the schedule, subclasses 326.1 to 334.1 are deemed to be chemically modified product subclasses; and subclasses 337 to 388 are deemed to be chemical modification process
(ii) Patents that claim a chemically treated product and process, wherein both the product and the process are specifically provided for in the schedule, are classified in the product area (326.1 to 334.1) and cross referenced to the process area (337 to 388).
(iii) Patents that claim both a product (326.1 to 334.1) and a provided for process (337 to 388) and wherein the product is claimed in process terms are classified on the basis of the product (326.1 to 334.1) and cross-referenced to the process (337 to 388) on the basis of the chemical treating agent first appearing in the classification hierarchy.
(iv) Patents that claim a chemically modified product solely in process terms are classified on the basis of the product (326.1 to 334.1) and are desireably cross-referenced to the process (337 to 388) on the basis of the chemical treating agent first appearing in the classification hierarchy.
(v) Patents that claim nominally vulcanized, cured, or crosslinked solid polymers from ethylenic monomers only, (or nominal process claims directed to vulcanizing, curing or cross-linking) are classified as polymers as appropriate in Class 526; see also Class 526, subclass 72 (1) Note (A8).
(vi) Patents that claim vulcanized, cured or cross-linked solid polymers from ethylenic monomers only, wherein the vulcanizing, curing or cross-linking agent is identified by an atom (e.g., sulfur containing vulcanizing agent, etc.), by an amount (e.g., cured using 2% by weight of a vulcanizing agent, etc.) or by a significant process step (e.g., cured by heating to a specific temperature in presence of a vulcanizing agent, etc.) are classified as chemically modified products (326.1 to 334.1).
(b) Claims to an aftertreated product are classified on the basis of the initial monomers or monomers that are polymerized; except where certain chemical modifications or chemical treating agents are specifically provided for as an indented subclass under a monomer. In certain cases this determination is made from the disclosure. An example of such a situation is a treated halogenated polyethylene wherein the disclosure recites halogenation of a previously formed polyethylene polymer. In this case, classification is made on the basis of polyethylene rather than on halogenated polyethylene.
(c) Vulcanizable compositions are not subject matter for this subclass unless prior to the vulcanization or cross-linking step there is present a chemically modified solid polymer derived from ethylenic monomers only.
(d) The final product need not contain an atom of the chemical treating agent employed. For example, polyvinyl chloride which has been treated with a dehalogenating agent,
is classified in subclass 331.5. (e) Examples of patent placement within this and the indented subclasses. Patentee claims:
(i) Polyethlyene which has been chlorosulfonated by treatment with SO2 and CL2 at elevated temperature and pressure. There are also claims directed to this process of chlorosulfonation of polyethylene. The original classification is in subclass 333.9 with a mandatory cross-reference to subclass 344. This represents an inversion of the classification rule and process versus product in hierarchy of class 526.
(ii) A vulcanizable polyethylene composition comprising a mixture of polyethylene and zinc oxide as vulcanizing agent. The original classification is with the process subclass 373 since this product claim does not encompass a chemically modified solid polymer.
(iii) A vulcanizable chlorosulfonated polyethylene composition comprising a mixture of chlorosulfonated polyethylene and zinc oxide as vulcanizing agent. Disclosure states that the chlorosulfonated polyethylene is prepared by modification of previously formed solid polyethylene. The original classification of this product is in subclass 333.9 since the product claim encompasses a chemically modified solid polymer, i.e., chlorosulfonated polyethylene.
(5) Lines relative to subclases 501.5
Class 525, subclass 501.5 provides for, e.g., mixtures of phenol-formaldehyde resin (SICP) with an ethylenic agent such as an unsaturated fatty acid glyceride or unsaturated fatty acid derived therefrom, e.g., linseed oil or linseed fatty acid, etc. However, a phenolic SICP (not described as a solid polymer) admixed with a saturated fatty glyceride or saturated fatty acid, e.g., coconut oil or coconut fatty acids, etc., is classified in Class 528, subclass 158.5, since Class 525, subclasses 50+ do not encompass an admixture of a liquid SICP with a chemical treating agent; therefore, when saturated fatty glycerides or saturated fatty acid derived therefrom are reactants in the system of this subclass there must additionally be present a complete system for Class 525, subclass 480.
(6) Lines relative to subclases 517.5
Class 525, subclass 517.5 provides for mixtures of SICP (e.g., aminoplast resin, etc.) with an ethylenic agent such as unsaturated fatty acid glycerides or unsaturated fatty acids derived therefrom, e.g., linseed oil or linseed fatty acid, etc. However, an aminoplast SICP (not described as a solid polymer) admixed with a saturated fatty glyceride or saturated fatty acid, e.g., coconut oil or coconut fatty acid, etc., is placed in Class 528, subclass 245.5 since Class 525, subclasses 50+ do not encompass an admixture of a
liquid SICP with a chemical treating agent; therefore, when saturated fatty glycerides or saturated fatty acid derived therefrom are reactants in the system of this subclass there must additionally be a complete system for Class 525, subclass 509.