The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Public Search Facility 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 examiner systems Web-based Examiner Search Tool, (WEST) and Examiner Automated Search Tool (EAST), the USPTO web site, and 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. Some foreign patent documents may be searched using EAST and WEST. Official Gazettes, Annual Indexes (of Inventors), 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, microfilmed deeds, and indexes are also available.
Online searching of pending, registered, and dead trademarks is available using the trademark examining attorney automated systems X-Search, Trademark Image Capture System (TICRS), the Trademark Reporting and Monitoring System (TRAM), and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board VUE (TTABVUE). A complete trademark registration collection is available online and in bound paper volumes in numerical order or on microfilm since 1870.
Official Gazettes, trademark assignment records of transactions affecting trademark ownership, microfilmed deeds, and indexes are also available.
Hours of operation
Entry to the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, VA requires a previously obtained user badge that is only issued Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Research assistance also is only offered between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Self-service access is permitted between 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 will receive a ticket each time they enter the garage and will pay each time they leave the garage. Lost tickets pay 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 lobby level in the East Wing of the Madison Building in the center of the complex.
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.
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.
Online Service Cards
Online Service Cards are used to access online systems. These may be obtained at the Public Search Facility Reception Desk on a user's first visit between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A valid government issued photo ID, such as a driver's license with a current address, must be provided to verify user information.
There are no fees for use of automated systems.
Online print fees of $0.25 per page, $0.50 per page from color printers, are collected at the workstation via online UPWS accounts.
Microfilm print fees and self service photocopies are $0.25 per page using a USPTO debit card. Purchase debit cards at the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) on the Concourse Level of Madison East.
Funds may be added to online accounts and existing debit cards at the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) Cashier Window between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. New debit cards are issued with a one-time fee of $1.00 per card. Cash, checks, credit cards, and USPTO deposit accounts are accepted.
Training is recommended before patrons use the online examiner search systems. See the training schedule below or call 571-272-3275.
To enroll in a class, public users may apply in person at the Public Search Facility, online, or by mail.
Complete the training registration form (see links below) indicating your first and second choice of class dates. You will be notified of your confirmed class date.
Mail class registration form to:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
ATTN: PSF Public Training
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
Arrive one half-hour before class to obtain an Online Service Card and password at the Public Search Facility in Alexandria. Bring a photo ID with your current home address, such as a driver's license or a passport.
Web-based Examiner Search Tool (WEST)
This WEST patent class covers all basic text search features, from keyboard and Boolean logic to command functions and index searching. Practice time is also included. This is a seven-hour class given according to the schedule listed below.
Examiner Assisted Search Tool (EAST)
The EAST patent class is a fast-paced course for users with online database and Boolean logic experience. Text searching using indexes and the use of the browser screen for rapid patent retrieval. This is a four-hour class given once a month.
You may also wish to review an introductory online training package about EAST by linking to: The EAST Training Package.
X-Search is the automated search and retrieval system for U.S. Trademark text and/or designs. The X-Search class is recommended, but not mandatory, before accessing the trademark system. This is a three-hour class given according to the schedule listed below.
Training schedule for 2017
Total of Classes
Public user training is held at the Alexandria campus. Please report to the Public Search Facility in Madison East one half-hour before class so you may obtain an Online Service Card and password.
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.
Patent and trademark data is searchable on the internet without coming to the USPTO campus. See the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov.
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 1975 to the current issue week.
Public PAIR (Patent Application and Information Retrieval) 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 our PAIR Portal.
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.