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The USPTO and the EPO have agreed to work toward the formation of a joint patent classification system. Unlike other major patent document classification systems, the U.S. patent classification system is not based on the International Patent Classification (IPC) system because it predates the IPC.

The USPTO Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2010-2015 sets forth the agency's mission-focused goals, as well as the proposed objectives to meet those goals. The plan is designed to strengthen the capacity of the USPTO, improve the quality of issued patents and registered trademarks, and shorten the time it takes to get a patent.