Lines with other classes and within this class
See References to Other Classes, below, for apparatus for making fertilizers not specifically provided for in other classes.
See References to Other Classes, below, for drying processes, per se, and for processes for contacting solids with gases or vapors not restricted to fertilizer manufacture.
This class (71) includes, in subclasses 5+ and below processes of applying a specific fertilizer composition to plants or soil. Those processes which do not involve the application of a specific composition are classified in the appropriate class of which Class 47 is the generic class; see the definition and notes of that class for the line with the other classes. Processes which include some manipulation of the soil are classified in Classes 47, 111, or 172 in accordance with the line between those classes. Plant pots or molds made of fertilizer material and mulching sheets which are made of or compose a fertilizer ingredient are in Class 47. Compositions of seeds and fertilizer are in Class 71.
See Class 426, Food or Edible Material: Processes, Compositions, and Products, appropriate subclasses for animal foods. If a composition (product) is usable either as an animal food or a plant food, it is classifiable in Class 426 and cross referenced to Class 71.
See Class 504, Plant Protecting and Regulating Compositions, for compositions and compounds for treating living terrestrial and aquatic plants or their habitats for the purpose of stimulating, inhibiting or retarding growth, defoliating, or killing said plants, and the processes of using such compositions or compounds for such purposes which are not more than their mere application to the plant or habitat. Compositions disclosed as having unequivocal fertilizer value in addition to biocidal or deodorant value are in Class 504 and cross-referenced to Class 424 or 514. Class 504 specifically provides for algicidal compositions.
Only those compositions which alter the plant through a chemical modification of the plant metabolism such as auxins are included in Class 504. The line between a chemical which causes a plant metabolism response and a fertilizer or plant food is somewhat difficult, but for purposes of this class the following applies: (1) compositions having only a fertilizing affect and (2) compositions which are disclosed as having both a stimulating and fertilizing action and wherein the composition taken as a whole merely exhibits its stimulating affect as a response to the fertilizing action and wherein no disclosure is made as to the specific response, except for general statements as to "stimulating and fertilizing affects", are not in Class 504, but may be found in the appropriate fertilizer subclass in Class 71. Compositions which include a plant stimulant as well as a fertilizer or biocide (insecticide, fungicide, etc.) are classified in Class 504.
Compositions which are added to prevent or cure mineral or plant food deficiencies are excluded from Class 504. For example, the addition of iron chelates to cure or prevent iron chlorosis are found in the appropriate subclass of Class 71.
See Class 210, Liquid Purification or Separation, appropriate subclasses, particularly subclasses 601+ for processes for the treatment of sewage to separate solids and liquids and purify or dry the same. If other treatment, beyond separation, purifying or drying, is included, which is directed to improving the character as a fertilizer, see this class (71).
The rules for determining Class placement of the Original Reference (OR) for claimed chemical compositions are set forth in the Class Definition of Class 252 in the section LINES WITH OTHER CLASSES AND WITHIN THIS CLASS, subsection COMPOSITION CLASS SUPERIORITY, which includes a hierarchical ORDER OF SUPERIORITY FOR COMPOSITIONS CLASSES.