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Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright

Patent Searching: Databases & Tutorials

Patent Searching - Databases and Tutorials




From the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:

  • Patent Public Search -  Lets you search records for both U.S. patents and U.S. patent applications.  Not a place to find patents from other countries.  Offers "Basic Search" and "Advanced Search."  (Most of us prefer to use Google Patents and instead of Patent Public Search.)
  • Classification Resources - Searching by classification is what experts recommend for subject searching.  You will find details on both the old and new classification systems (for searching in Patent Public Search and other patent-search databases).   
  • Patent Center - is where you file your non-provisional (or "regular) U.S. patent application.  Also, you can look at application materials from other patents.  These include the correspondence between the patent examiner and the inventor (or inventor's attorney).


More on the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) --- the classification system currently used in the U.S. and in the European Patent Office for advanced subject searching:


Other important websites for accessing patents and patent information:

These include U.S. patents and applications, plus patents and applications from around the world:
U.S. Plant Patents in Color:
  • Plant Patents Image Database - Color images for U.S. Plant Patents.
  • To see color images for the newest plant patents, if they are not yet in the "Plant Patents Image Database," use the Patent Center.
    • Change the default "application no." to "Patent #",
    • Enter the patent number -- in this format, pp23456.
    • "Supplemental Content" is near the bottom of the menu at left of the bibliographic record, with "Design Drawings," if available.


Including historic reports of the U.S. Patent Office:

Russ's Guide to Gazettes at the Hathi Trust helps to explain these next entries:

Recommended Tutorials​ and Aids

  • 7-Step U.S. Patent Search Strategy Guide - This is aimed at beginners who want to do "preliminary patentability search" of the documents of the United States Patent Office.  A "preliminary patentability search" is your search of existing patents and applications to find out where your invention fits in.
  • How to read a U.S. patent document - Help in understanding the parts of a U.S. patent.
  • CPC Training - "The EPO and the USPTO have jointly prepared CPC training material to support users in their learning process of the CPC classification system."

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