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Patents and Trademarks : Searching

A guide to information on patents and trademarks, patent searching, inventor resources and UW intellectual property resources.

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Patent Search Strategies

This video explains patent search strategies using


Patent Databases

Suggested Databases for Novice Patent Searchers

Google Patents Patent Search 

  • Full text for US granted patents (1976-present) and applications (2001-present), EPO granted patents (1976-present), WIPO PCT applications (1976-present); also includes searchable data for over 81 million patents and applications worldwide from 1907-present
  • Filtering, data visualization and export options
  • Includes cited scholarly works via PubMed, CrossRef, and Microsoft Academic
  • Register for free to save searches, create notes and collections, and export larger sets of search results

Google Patents

  • Full text for US granted patents (1790 to present) US applications (2001-present), and international patent documents (updated coverage available here)
  • Links to US & International Classification tools, links to other databases, and patent status information
  • Good place to start a preliminary patent search - use or Espacenet to follow up with classification searching

U.S. Patent Databases


USPTO Patent Full Text and Image Database (PatFT) 

  • Full text of granted US patents from (1976-present)​ with precise searching in up to 56 fields
  • PDF patent images of granted US patents (1790-present)
  • CPC (Coordinated Patent Classification) and USPC (US Patent Classification) information in Classification number search

USPTO Patent Application and Full Text Image Database (AppFT)

  • Full text of US patent applications (2001-present) with precise searching in up to 56 fields
  • CPC (Coordinated Patent Classification) and USPC (US Patent Classification) information in Classification number search

International Patent Databases

Espacenet - European Patent Office

Espacenet Patent Search 

  • European Patent Office official patent database with over 80 million patent documents from 92 countries, including U.S. and other non-European countries
  • Patent documents in the language of the issuing country; >5 million have a searchable English abstract
  • Save selected results (up to 500 per search) in "My Patent List" or export to Excel spreadsheet

WIPO PatentScope Database

  • World Intellectual Property Organization database includes International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in full text format on the day of publication, as well as patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices

Historical Patent Research

Patent Status & Ownership

Public PAIR - Patent Application Information Retrieval
Find the status of a patent application and view all application documents (file wrapper)

Patent Assignments Database
Find any recorded changes in ownership for an issued patent or published application

Design Patent Searching

Inventors can protect non-functional ornamental features of their inventions with design patents in the U.S. Other types of industrial design rights protect these features elsewhere in the world. Below are databases for searching design patents and other protected industrial designs.