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Patent Searching, Advanced

Librarian for Patents & Trademarks

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Jennifer Groff
Cooper Library, Room 302
(864) 656-4782

Freely Available Online Databases for Searching Patents and Patent Applications

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

1. Patent Public Search:  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

NOTE:  Patent Public Search replaces PatFT, AppFT, PubEAST, and PubWEST

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

2. 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.

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).