The USPTO has changed the title of Class 386, Television Signal Processing for Dynamic Recording or Reproducing. The new title is Motion Video Signal Processing for Recording or Reproducing. These and other changes are detailed in Classification Order 1900, issued on Sept. 7, 2010. The order abolishes subclasses 1-131 and establishes subclasses 200-361.
Approximately 16,441 patents (91 percent issued after 1975) are classified in Class 386. There are more than 13,000 published applications classified in Class 386. The oldest patent in the class is No. 1,116,949, issued on November 10, 1914 to a Dr. Curt Stille of Berlin, Germany for a new method of transmitting photographs telegraphically. It’s unknown if Stille’s invention was a commercial success, but in the years after he received a number of patents related to the transmission and recording of sound. In the 1920s, Stille entered into a partnership with the Marconi Wireless Telegraphic Co. to produce and market a tape recording machine called the Marconi-Stille.
The top patent owners in Class 386 include Sony, Toshiba, Matsushita, Canon, Samsung, Hitachi, LG and Thomson Licensing.