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Patent Searching, Advanced

Freely Available Online Databases for Searching Patents and Patent Applications

Databases from the U.S, Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

1. Patent Public Search (NEW as of February 2022!) :  Searches both U.S. patent grants and published U.S. patent applications.

2. PatFT and AppFT (Classic databases; will eventually be replaced by Patent Public Search):  Use PatFT to search for U.S. patent grants, and AppFT to search for U.S. patent applications. Note that PatFT only allows for full-text searching back to 1976; to find patents granted before then, you must search by classification. 

Browse or search the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) database to find relevant classification schemes.


The worldwide database (from the European Patent Office) contains information on published patent applications and granted patents from over 100 patent-granting authorities.  Can machine-translate patent documents.

Google Patents

Allows for full-text searching of patent grants and applications from the United States and from 100+ patent offices around the world.

WIPO Patentscope

The PATENTSCOPE database provides access to international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in full text format on the day of publication, as well as to patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices.

USPTO's 7-Step Strategy

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recommends a Seven Step Strategy for conducting preliminary searches of U.S. patents and published applications using free online resources of the USPTO and its bi-lateral partner EPO (European Patent Office).

Seven Step Strategy Handout and Tutorial

Additional Patent Searching Resources: PubEAST and PubWEST

NOTE:  Because Clemson Libraries is a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), the following databases are available to search in person at Clemson Libraries ONLY.  To use these databases, you MUST contact Jennifer Groff ahead of time at or at (864) 656-4782 to discuss availability.  Due to COVID-19, library access is currently restricted to Clemson University students, faculty, and staff only. 

PubEAST - The "public" version of the Examiner's Automated Search Tool provides seamless access to multiple text data sources including the Pre-Grant Publications (US-PGPUB), U.S. Patents (USPAT), U.S. Optical Character Recognition (USOCR), European Patent Office (EPO) Abstracts, Japanese Patent Office (JPO) Abstracts, and Foreign Patent Retrieval system (FPRS) databases, as well as image data sources for full and clipped images.  PubEAST provides a form-based search capability for novice users, and enables expert users to submit searches in Bibliographic Retrieval System (BRS) syntax and IS&R syntax. (Access via a PTRC Workstation at Clemson Libraries)

PubWEST - The "public" version of the Web-based Examiner's Search Tool offers a server-based application tool for searching patent full-text and abstract databases.  It also uses the search language entitled Bibliographic Retrieval Services (BRS).  WEST provides identical text and image data sources as PubEAST having the following user and system functions:  general patent database searches; searches bound to specific document sections; limited general and bound searches; display of search results based on a range of specified formats; display of page images of patents; user-managed collections of documents; user-managed cases containing searches; local and TCP/IP printing for patent image documents; links to online patent classification guides. (Access via a PTRC workstation at Clemson Libraries)