New to Patent Searching? See this important information about searching for patents:
How to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search: A Step by Step Strategy - Web Based Tutorial (38 minutes)
The Seven Step Strategy - Outlines a suggested procedure for patent searching
- A detailed handout of the Seven Step Strategy with examples and screen shots.
Patents may be searched using the following resources:
USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT)
Inventors are encouraged to search the USPTO's patent database to see if a patent has already been filed or granted that is similar to your patent. Patents may be searched in the USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT). The USPTO houses full text for patents issued from 1976 to the present and PDF images for all patents from 1790 to the present.
Searching Full Text Patents (Since 1976)
Customize a search on all or a selected group of elements (fields) of a patent.
Searching PDF Image Patents (Since 1790)
Searches are limited to patent numbers and/or classification codes for pre-1976 patents.
USPTO Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT)
Search for Full-Text and Image versions of patent applications. Customize searches on all fields of a patent application in the AppFT for Full-Text searches.
Searches are limited to patent numbers and/or classification codes for Full-Page images.
Global Patent Search Network (GPSN)
Global Patent Search Network (GPSN) enables users to search the full text of multiple international patent collections. The initial collection available will be Chinese patent documentation from the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People's Republic of China. Users can search published applications, granted patents and utility models from1985 to 2012. The data available includes full text Chinese patents, English machine translations and full document images. This collection will be periodically updated to include additional years of coverage.
Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR)
The Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system provides IP customers a safe, simple, and secure way to retrieve and download information regarding patent application status.
Public Search Facility
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Public Search Facility located in Alexandria, VA provides the public access to patent and trademark information in a variety of formats including on-line, microfilm, and print. Trained staff are available to assist public users.
Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs)
Your nearest Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) maintains local search resources and may offer training in patent search techniques.
- Visit the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program
- Find your nearest PTRC
- 7 Steps to Searching at a PTRC
Patent Official Gazette
The Electronic Official Gazette allows users to browse through the issued patents for the current week. The Official Gazette can be browsed by classification or type of patent, for example, utility, design, and plant.
Common Citation Document (CCD)
The Common Citation Document (CCD) application aims to provide single point access to up-to-date citation data relating to the patent applications of the IP5 Offices. It consolidates the prior art cited by all participating offices for the family members of a patent application, thus enabling the search results for the same invention produced by several offices to be visualized on a single page. The creation of the CCD application is part of an ongoing process of technical harmonization at international level aimed at establishing an appropriate infrastructure to facilitate greater integration of the global patent system.
Search International Patent Offices
To see if your idea has been patented abroad, you'll want to refer to searchable databases made available from other International Intellectual Property offices.
Free online access to patent collections is provided by many countries. Some available databases include:
- European Patent Office (EPO) provides esp@cenet a network of Europe's patent databases- This site also provides access to machine translation of European patents for some languages. EPO also recommends these free databases for patent research.
- Japan Patent Office (JPO) - This site also provides access to machine translations of Japanese patents.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provides PATENTSCOPE ® Search Service, which features a full-text search of published international patent applications and machine translations for some documents as well as a list of international patent databases.
- Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
- State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People's Republic of China and their official SIPO search site. These sites provides access to machine translation of Chinese patents.
- Other International Intellectual Property Offices that provide searchable patent databases include: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland,France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Stopfakes.Gov provides informative Toolkits that give an overview of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) environment in various countries around the world.
For additional search resources, contact your local Patent and Trademark Depository Library , visit the USPTO Public Search Facility or the USPTO Main STIC Library. The staff in the Main STIC Library are experts on foreign patents and able to help the public as needed.
Search Published Sequences
The Publication Site for Issued and Published Sequences (PSIPS) web site provides Sequence Listings, tables, and other mega items for granted US patents or published US patent applications.
All sequences (SEQ ID NOs.) and tables for listed patents or publications are available for viewing, without downloading, by accessing the proper document detail page and then submitting a SEQ ID NO or a mega table ID number.
Patent Assignment Database (Assignments on the Web)
Visit the Assignments on the Web web site to search for patent assignments and changes in ownership.