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Patent Searching, Advanced

Freely Available Online Databases for Searching Patents and Patent Applications

Patent Public Search

From the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Searches three U.S. patent databases at the same time:

  • US-PGPUB (U.S. published patent applications since 3/2001)
  • USPAT (full-text U.S. patents beginning in 1970; patent number and classification searching from 1790-1970)
  • USOCR (OCR scanned pre-1970 U.S. patents

The USPTO provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions and  Training Materials to help with Patent Public Search.

The Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) database can be searched 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.

The Lens

A product of Cambia, a global non-profit social enterprise.  Provides patent searching and analysis from more than 95 jurisdictions. 

Tutorial: How to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search-A Step by Step Strategy

The USPTO's Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) provides a CBT (computer based training) tutorial with a detailed review of how to conduct a  preliminary U.S. Patent Search.  This updated tutorial covers searching using the new Patent Public Search database, and talks about searching by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).