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Patent Information: Patent Searching

Searching patents, additional searching help - tutorials and guides, web resources on patents.


Google Advanced Patent Searching

Patent Searching and Printing

You can also search the official patent database provided by the USPTO.
Important Note: If the computer you are using is set to block pop-ups, be sure to
click on the pop-up blocker, and choose “temporarily allow pop-ups,” or you will
not see your search results.

1) Go directly to the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Step 1: What is the publication date of the patent(s) you’re searching for?

There are three groups of patents you can search depending on the patent publication date:
1976-Present - Full-text
1790-Present - Entire database, but keep in mind that from 1790-1975, patents are only searchable by patent number (PN) and U.S. current classification (CCL)
1790-1975 - Only searchable by patent number (PN) and U.S. current classification (CCL)

Step 2: What information do you have about the patent(s)?
1976 – Present
Quick Search: Fill in the field(s) where you have information, and click on search.

Patent Number Search: The easiest way to locate a patent is by the patent number! If you have more than two search terms or want to use command-driven searching, use advanced searching.

What if I need a patent that was published before 1976?
Hopefully, you have the patent number or the U.S. Current Classification Number, or
Click to search for - Classification Resources

An example of a classification number is “426/16.” The first number is for the class of
the invention. The number following the slash is the sub-class of the invention within the class. Click to go to the Patent Classification Office.

Printing Patents

Print or save the full image of a patent or the text only. The text can be printed using
your browser’s print function.
To print the full image of a patent, follow these directions.
A browser plug-in must be installed on your computer to view these files directly.
The .tiff images can be saved to any storage medium. The computer you use must have a .tiff viewer on it. The text can also be saved, but remember to choose the .html format or the .txt format.

If you prefer not to install a .tiff plug-in, for free downloading of patents in PDF format
from the USPTO, go to this site. (Note: You must have the patent number to search the site)

Or download the PDFs from Google Patents.
Note: Google does not have the most recent patents and applications—it is at least 6
months behind.

Other Patent Resources

Silicon Valley U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


Engineering/Math Librarian