A patent can be used as a source of information to learn about a product or process or to track trends and changes in technology. There are many different ways to search for patents, including (but not limited to) keyword, author, company/institution, patent number, or classification code.
If you would like more information or assistance on searching for patents, visit the Engineering Library Reference Desk or send a note using our Ask Us form.
Search data from the World Intellectual Property Organization, European Patent Office, U.S. Patent Office, and the Australian Patent Office.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Search international patent applications.
Search U.S. and foreign patents, published patent applications, product literature, and other non-patent literature. Must create a free account in order to view images.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Search patents issued from 1790-present. Patents issued before 1976 are only searchable by patent number or Classification Code. USPTO's 7-step patent search strategy. Note: You must have a TIFF image viewer plug-in installed (free) in order to view the full page images.
Google Patent Search
Search patents issued or filed from 1790-present. Patents are viewable in PDF.
Free patent printing site. Enter the number of the patent you want and this database will retrieve the patent in PDF form from the USPTO website.
San Francisco Public Library Patent and Trademark Center
The San Francisco Public Library is a U.S. Patent and Trademark Depository Library, containing complete patents from 1790-present, indexes to historical patents and trademarks, and services related to the patent collections. SFPL periodically offers patent classes and workshops. For similar services see also the Sunnyvale Public Library.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Bibliographic databases (titles, names, dates, and classifications) available from 1869–present, images from 1920–present, and text databases from 1978–present.
European Patent Office
Search just European patents published in the last 24 months or search worldwide for older publications.
German Patent and Trade Mark Office
Search German patents. Website is in the German language.
Japan Patent Office
Search Japanese patents and utility models, design applications, and trademarks.