Public Search Facility


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Public Search Facility (PSF) located in Alexandria, VA provides public access to patent and trademark information in a variety of formats including online, microfilm, and print. Trained staff are available to assist public users.

State of the art computer workstations provide automated searching of patents issued from 1790 to the current week of issue using the Patent Public Search Tool (PPUBS), the USPTO website, and other related applications. Full document text may be searched on U.S. patents issued since 1971 and OCR text from 1920 to 1970. U. S. patent images from 1790 to the present may be retrieved for viewing or printing. Official Gazettes, Annual Indexes (of Inventors), the U.S. Patents Quarterly (USPQ), the Manual of Classification and its subject matter index, and other search aids are available in various formats.

Patent assignment records of transactions affecting the ownership of patents, and microfilmed deeds are also available.

Online searching of pending, registered, and dead trademarks is available using the trademark examining automated search systems Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR), the Trademark Reporting and Monitoring System (TRAM) and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board VUE (TTABVUE). A complete trademark registration collection is available online. A collection of trademark registrations bound paper volumes in numerical order form the first registered trademark to ones registered on July 12, 2018, is also available. Official Gazettes, trademark assignment records and transactions affecting trademark ownership and microfilmed deeds are also available.              

Hours of operation
Entry to the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, VA is available Monday through Friday between
8:00 am. to 5:00 p.m. A visitor's badge can be received from Security at the entrance of the facility for research. Research assistance is only offered between the hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm. Access to the online workstations is allowed by establishing a MYUSPTO account. Access can also be granted to public users who have obtained a user badge issued by the Security Office in Madison East between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Self-service access is permitted between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday to those that already have a previously issued user badge. The facility is closed on weekends and Federal Holidays. Refer to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) web site for current Washington area federal government operating status information.

Rules of conduct in USPTO facilities (e.g., FIU, PSF, STIC)
Conduct in Public Information Facilities (05/11) [PDF-62KB]

Parking in Alexandria
Daily and hourly parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the East Garage from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, except federal holidays. Use the John Carlyle St. entrance only. The parking garage is locked at 10:30 p.m.

Customers can obtain a ticket each time they enter the garage and will pay each time they leave the garage at one of the pay stations in the area. Lost tickets will pay a maximum daily rate. Daily customers may pay in cash or by credit card (no checks).

Metro directions to Alexandria facility
The King St. station is served by yellow and blue line trains. The Eisenhower Ave. station is served by yellow line trains. The Public Search Facility is at the lobby level of the Madison East Building in the center of the complex. The Public Search Facility entrance would be on the left if entering the Madison Building from the Dulany Street entrance.


General information

SMART card ID badges are required to pass through security access checkpoints in the Public Search Facility. Badges are obtained from the USPTO Security Service Center in room 1C51 on the lobby level of the Madison East building at the Alexandria campus from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors must present a valid photo ID to be issued an access badge. Daily passes are not issued for the Public Search Facility after 5 p.m.

Reference assistance
Trained Staff are available to assist users with questions during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except for Federal Holidays. Self-service access is permitted between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

There are no fees for use of automated systems.

There are no fees for the copying of paper documents.

Requesting Universal Workstation System (UPWS) account balance refund

To request a refund, complete the UPWS Account Refund Request form, and submit it to the fax number or mailing address on the form. No email submissions of the refund request form will be accepted. Users have a two-year period to request a UPWS account balance refund, beginning May 19, 2022 until May 18, 2024.
For assistance with filling the UPWS refund request form or related questions contact the

Fax the completed form to 571-273-6500 (Attn: Refund Branch), or mail it to the following address:

Mail Stop 16
Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

Public training

Public training in the Public Search Facility will be listed at the top of this page, when available. 

Remote access

Patent and Trademark Resource Centers
The nationwide network of Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) offer access to patent and trademark reference materials and search tools. Trained staff are available to assist public users.

To locate a PTRC near you, visit the USPTO web site at PTRC Program page or call 800-786-9199.

USPTO Regional Offices
The Regional Offices of Detroit, Denver, San Jose and Dallas provide access to the same research system available in the Public Search Facility. For location and information about the Regional Offices, go to: .      

Internet Access
Patent and trademark data is searchable on the internet without coming to the USPTO campus. See the USPTO website at

The patent database has patent images from 1790 to the current week of issue retrievable by patent number and current U.S. Patent Classification, and text searchable from 1976 to the current issue week.

Patent Center and Patent Examination Data System (PEDS) offers access to approximately 500,000 patent applications not covered by confidentiality laws. New applications are added to the database 18 months after filing.  See Patent Center and PEDS

Track the status of a public patent application as it moves from publication to final disposition, and review documents in the official application file, including all patent examiner decisions. A quick-click feature for ordering certified copies of patent applications and application files is included on the site.

The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) contains pending, registered, and dead trademarks. See TESS.