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Frequently Asked Questions
About Patent Searching
Searching for patents is more complicated and time-consuming than searching for other types of information. Don't worry that you're doing something wrong if it's taking you a long time to find what you need - typically, patent searches do take a while.
As always, if you need help with your research, please don't hesitate to Ask Us!
Help with Patents
Patent searches can be long and complicated. Check out some of these resources to learn how to perform patent searches more effectively and efficiently.
Search for Patents
Search patents for products that are similar to yours, products that can inform your design, and more. Be sure to check out the "Help with Patents" resources in the box above if you haven't already. This isn't always a simple task!
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Search
Issued patents are available from 1789-present and published applications are available since March 2001. Issued patents and applications are in separate databases.
Easy to search. Searches US patents applications back to 2001, granted patents from 1976. Also includes some international patents.
European Patent Office. The Espacenet system offers searchable bibliographic data for over 70 million patent documents from over 90 countries
This source makes available issued patents and published applications in PDF format