USPC 244

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This is the main category for aeronautics within the United States Patent Classification system. It includes airplanes, helicopters, parachutes, kites, LTA/balloons, projectiles, and astronautics.[1][2]

This class contains and is limited to:

  1. Machines or structures adapted to be completely or partially sustained by the air (e.g., winged aircraft, helicopters, parachutes, kites, balloons, etc.),
  2. Machines or structures adapted to be propelled and guided or stabilized through the air (e.g., projectiles with fins, guided missiles, etc.),
  3. Machines or structures adapted to be placed in an orbit or which substantially operate outside the earth"s atmosphere (e.g., satellites, space vehicles, etc.),
  4. Subcombinations of the machines or structures of 1-3, above, not classified elsewhere (guidance and control, aircraft structures, etc.),
  5. Devices ancillary to the use of the machines or structures of 1-3 above, not classified elsewhere (e.g., mooring devices, etc.), and
  6. Processes or methods peculiarly related to 1-5 above and not provided for elsewhere.
  • Class 244 excludes toy or model aeronautical devices unless the invention applies also to full-sized devices for carrying persons or cargo. For toy or model airplanes , see Class 446, Amusement Devices: Toys, subclass 56.
  • This class excludes motor vehicles for travel on land or water, and which vehicles are supported above said land or water by a relatively thin cushion of air between the vehicle and the land or water, such cushion of air being generated by the motor vehicle (e.g., ground effect machines).
  • For a motor vehicle of the surface effect type, see Class 180, Motor Vehicles, subclasses 116+.
  • This class provides, in subclasses 76+, the generic subclass for the automatic steering of mobile craft in two or three dimensions.
  • See subclasses 175+ where the control apparatus includes electrical devices or apparatus.
  • See the search notes to these subclasses for the other subclasses which provide for motion and/or steering control and a statement as to the line between the classes
  • Gas cells or balloon envelope distinguished only by the coating on, or by the structure of the fabric or textile are placed in Class 428, Stock Material or Miscellaneous Articles, appropriate subclasses; see especially subclasses 175+, 190, 193, and 196+ for a single or plural layer sheet or web embodying mechanically interengaged strands (e.g., weave or knit), and subclasses 411.1+ for a composite, web or sheet characterized only by the composition of the layers.

Major subcategories:

  • USPC 244 Aero and astro
    • USPC 244/1 Misc and handling by hoists
    • USPC 244/19 Paddle wheel sustained: Aeronautical machines sustained by the downward thrust from rotating paddle wheels, which may also propel the craft
      • USPC 244/20 Feathering: Aeronautical machines in which the arrangement of the blades of the paddle wheels varies as the paddle wheel rotates
    • USPC 244/100 Landing gear, with many subtypes
    • USPC 244/234 Control mechanisms

Historic USPC 244

Classifications in 1912

From the mid-nineteenth century through 1909, patents related to "aerial navigation" fell under a subdivision of Division II, class 98, "Pneumatics". Class 244 was created in 1909–1910 by order of commissioner Edward B. Moore. The original schema in 1909, described in the Classification Bulletin of the United States Patent Office contained 31 categories.[3] As will be seen, these categories remained relatively constant over the following decade.

This class was structured differently in its early years as revealed in the USPO Manual of Classification circa 1912. Contemporary classifications can be found in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office. For example the entry for Patent US-1913-1049486 on p. 56 (January 7, 1913) lists Cl. 244—15. Historic 244/15 was "helicopter" or more precisely, "Flying Machines, Aeroplane, Propelled, Screw, Helicopter". The primary present-day classification is USPC 244/6, "Airplane and helicopter sustained".

See scans at right for the schema in 1912 and slightly revised in 1916.


Enclosing categories USPC
Subcategories USPC 244/19, USPC 244/100, USPC 244/153, USPC 244/234
Keywords Aeronautics, Airplane, Helicopter, Parachute, Kite, Balloon, Projectile, CPC B64, FR 6.4, USPC 114/159
Start year 1912
End year