Q:

How do you search the U.S. patent database?

A:

Quick Answer

The U.S. patent database is available online through the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. The database contains details of all patents issued since 1790, notes the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Full Answer

There are three different kinds of searches available: Quick Search, Advanced Search and Patent Number Search, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Clicking Quick Search allows users to select two fields, such as Title and Applicant Name, and enter keywords to search these fields. Users can also select whether to search patents from 1790 to the present or from 1976 to the present.

Clicking Advanced Search allows users to enter keywords that search more than two fields. A list of all fields is provided, and users can be more specific about the patent they are searching for, including narrowing the search to a particular year. Clicking on the Help section displays further details on valid syntax for queries, explains the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Clicking on the Patent Number Search allows users to bring up the details of a specific patent, notes the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Only PDF images are available for patents from 1790 to 1976, but the full text is available for patents from 1976 to the present. Patent numbers must be entered as a seven-character string, excluding commas. When a patent is searched for and selected, all details available for the patent are displayed, including a list of claims made, a description of the patent and images.

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