On Sept. 2, the USPTO issued Classification Order 1879 covering changes to design class D14, Recording, Communication, or Information Retrieval Equipment. New subclasses have been established for flash type memory drives, karaoke systems and digital media recorders. There are approximately 40,000 patents classified in Class D14.
The USPTO also published on Sept. 2 Classification Order 1880 covering a new cross-reference art collection labeled G9B, Information Storage Based on Relative Movement Between Record Carrier and Transducer. The order provides little information on the origin of this class, other than to say that it was established in 1979 and is connected to something called an IdT scheme, which is a European classification system. Obviously, it resembles an IPC class and not a USPC class. There are no patents classified in G9B at this time. Perhaps it is a new e-subclass.
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.