This class provides for active solid-state electronic devices,that is, electronic devices or components that are made up primarilyof solid materials, usually semiconductors, which operate by themovement of charge carriers - electrons or holes - which undergoenergy level changes within the material and can modify an inputvoltage to achieve rectification, amplification, or switching action,and are not classified elsewhere.
SCOPE OF THE CLASS
Active solid-state electronic devices include diodes, transistors,thyristors, etc., but exclude pure resistors, capacitors, inductors,or combinations solely thereof. The latter class of devices is characterizedas passive.
The subject matter to be found here includes only active solid-statedevices, per se. It may include one or more such devices combinedwith contacts or leads, or structures configured to be tested ona semiconductor chip, or merely semiconductor material without contactsor leads where the sole disclosed use is an active solid-state device.This subject matter does not includeactive solid-state devices combined with significant circuits.
Claims reciting an integrated circuit nominally with significantmetallization will be classified in Class 257, whereas otherwise,nominal recitation of an integrated circuit (i.e., without significantactive solid-state device recitation) will not be sufficient topermit the device to be classified in Class 257.
See Subclass References to the Current Class, below, for referencesthat relate to key concepts and terms found in Class 257. An indicationthat a particular concept or term occurs in one or more subclassesdoes not mean that the indicated subclass or subclasses are the onlyplaces that subject matter may be found. That subject matter maypossibly be found elsewhere in Class 257 listed under a relatedterm or concept that may be broader or narrower or of the same scope.
OTHER CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS
Each subclass definition may contain an OTHER CLASSIFICATIONSYSTEMS listing that is to be used for informational purposes only.These classification listings may change at any time after theirpublication and are therefore not guaranteed to be current. Inaddition, the classification listing does not necessarily indicatethe sole relationship between the U.S. Patent Classification Systemand foreign classifications. Even where a single classificationis listed for a single U.S. subclass, a one-to-one correlation shouldnot be inferred. As a result, information contained therein is consideredto be only a guide to related subject matter.