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Searching for Patents

United States Patent and Trademark Office website

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers the ability to search existing patents, the process of filing for a patent, and the fee schedule to obtain and maintain US patents.

Other Online Search Sites/Databases

Simple patent searching can be done on different websites but each has advantages and disadvantages and none are as thorough as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database.

Google Patents allows users to search just like the basic Google screen or via an advanced search feature that is linked to the Google Patents home page.  The adfvanced screen allows searchers to provide specific information like patent numbers and inventors names in focused parts of the search screen

FreePatentsOnline offers the ability to search with a quick or expert search screen.  While it defaults to the "Expert Search" screen, the "Quick Search" screen is recommended for those with little experience with patent searching.  It also offers links to the most recent patents on specific topics and by major companies.  Additional information is provided for inventors and attorneys.

Patentdocs  provides detailed information on patent applications filed in the U.S. This includes the text of the application, as well as any images, tables, charts or diagrams filed with it.

Patent Lens offers searching of patents in multiple languages from around the world and offers fulltext of patents in an even larger number of languages.  For those not experienced in patent searching, the "Structured Search" screen is recommended.

Science & Technology Databases

Numerous science and technology databases offer searching of patents in the field they cover. In many cases, these are only citations, not the entire text of the patent. Among those databases which are accessible via the UALR Ottenheimer Library are

1) AGRICOLA

2) INSPEC, accessible as part of Engineering Village

3) PubMed

4) SciFinder® N

5) Web of Science

Additional Information

Additional information on the sites mentioned on this page, as well as more information on patents in general, can be obtained from:

Reinman, Suzanne L. "The Basics of Patent Resources and Research for Academic Librarians."  DttP: Documents to the People. vol. 39 no. 1 (Spring 2011). p. 33-8.