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Course & Subject Guides
Online Patent Tutorials & Guides
7 Step Strategy
The Seven Step Strategy, from the USPTO:
- Brainstorm keywords.
- Use the keywords to find initial relevant Cooperative Patent Classification using the USPTO website's Site Search box . In the Site search box found in the top right hand corner of the home page enter "CPC Scheme [plus keywords(s) describing invention]."
- Verify the relevancy of CPC classification you found by reviewing the CPC Classification Definition linked to it (if there is one).
- Retrieve U.S. patent documents with the CPC classification you selected in the PatFT (Patents Full-Text and Image) database. Review and narrow down the most relevant patent publications by initially focusing on the front page information of abstract and representative drawings.
- Using this selected set of most relevant patent publications, review each one in-depth for similarity to your own invention.
- Retrieve U.S. published patent applications with the CPC classification you selected in Step 3 in the AppFT (Applications Full-Text and Image) database.
- Broaden your search to find additional U.S. patent publications using keyword searching in PatFT or AppFT databases, classification searching of non-U.S. patents on the European Patent Office's Worldwide Espacenet patent database and searching non-patent literature disclosures of inventions using the free electronic and print resources of your nearest Patent and Trademark Resource Center.
Searching for Patents
If you intend to make, use, or sell an invention of yours, you should find out whether someone else has created something like it already. You have a number of options when it comes to searching for patents. Below are some patent searching sites.
PatentsView allows users explore technological, regional, and individual-level patent trends via search filters with multiple viewing options. The database links inventors, their organizations, locations, and overall patenting activity using enhanced 1976-2014 data from public USPTO bulk data files.
US Patent & Trademark Office - Patent Searching
Covers US patents issued from 1790 to the most recent weekly issue date. See the USPTO website for important notices concerning the database.
European Patent Office (Espacenet database)
Search for European, US, PCT, Japanese and other worldwide patents.
Covers patents and applications from USPTO and EPO.
CIPO - Canadian Patents Database
A Canadian Patent database with data from 1989 to the present, and includes the patent number, classification, and title of patents.
Japan Platform for Patent Information
A searchable database of Japanese patent abstracts, which includes the patent number, title, inventor, company, and abstract of the patent.