Early in our history, these books published the issuing of patents. They also listed the patents by inventor name, and today are useful for locating patents for early inventors.
Official Gazette for Patents
The Official Gazette for Patents is a weekly publication that lists patents and patent-related decisions issued in a particular week. We have most issues of the gazette, dating back to 1872 and up to 2002, when the USPTO moved to an electronic version of the publication. The older issues are helpful when searching patent and USPTO decisions prior to 2002. Many of these decisions continue to impact patent policy today.
Plant Patents Collection
Plant Patents, which the USPTO issues for asexually reproduced flowering plants, fruit trees, and other hybrid plants, are the last collection of patents that are still available for researching in classified paper format. The Plant Patent Act of 1930, which first allowed horticulturalists to protect their creations as IP, was spurred by the work of Luther Burbank and his development of over 800 plant varieties in his career. Over 33,000 plant patents have been issued since then.
Color, an important feature of plants, can only be viewed in the paper copies in the PSF.
A collection of X-Patents is available in microfilm format. The patents known as X-Patents were issued by the U.S. Patent Office from July 1790 to July 1836. In December of 1836, the records of the nearly 10,000 patents issued to that date were burned in a fire. An index of these patents was prepared from sources like inventors' copies, newspaper and magazine articles, libraries, and universities. While many of the patents were lost, those that were recovered were assigned an X-number to distinguish them from the numbered patents issued after 1836.
U.S. Alien Property Custodian Collection
The Trading with the Enemy Act of October 6, 1917 delegated the president's right to seize enemy property to the Office of Alien Property Custodian. During World War II, mechanical, electrical, and chemical patents held by Germany and Japan were seized under this authority. The USPTO's collection of these patents is one of few of its kind in the world.
Other searchable patent-related collections
Other patent-related searchable collections available in print format include:
- Bound volumes of design patents
- The Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents
- Annual Indexes of Inventors (dating from 1839 to 1997)
- Historical collections of the U.S. Manual of Classification and its subject matter index
- Early issues of the U.S. Patents Quarterly (USPQ)
- Reclassification orders (copies of orders issued for changes in classification)
The following records are available in microfilm format:
Patent assignment records of transactions affecting the ownership of patents and microfilmed deeds are also available.