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Patents: Searching for Patents

This guide is designed to help you search and find patents registered in the United States and beyond.

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." The USPTO registers trademarks based on the commerce clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). The USPTO advises the president of the United States, the secretary of commerce, and U.S. government agencies on intellectual property (IP) policy, protection, and enforcement; and promotes the stronger and more effective IP protection around the world. The USPTO furthers effective IP protection for U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide by working with other agencies to secure strong IP provisions in free trade and other international agreements. It also provides training, education, and capacity building programs designed to foster respect for IP and encourage the development of strong IP enforcement regimes by U.S. trading partners.

(from the USPTO "About Us" page -; accessed Sept. 27, 2016)  

Helpful Tips for Searching Patents

Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs)

USPTO Patent Public Search

The Patent Public Search tool is the main method of searching for U.S. Patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  A Basic Search allows you to look for patents by keyword or common fields, such as inventor name or patent/application publication number.  An Advanced Search allows you to build a query using multiple fields and filters.  

Google Patents

Patents available through Google Patent Search come from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and other Patent Offices worldwide.

Searching for Foreign Patents

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