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Patents and Trademarks: US

Databases, Information Resources, National Offices.

US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Resources

US patents are issued on Tuesdays and are published on Thursdays by the USPTO. The USPTO hosts several databases containing patent and related information. Links and brief descriptions are below.
Note: Full text searching for patents here is only available for patents issued form 1976 to the present.

Google Patents (US and Europe)

Google Patents claims to provide full-text searching of ALL US patents back to 1790 - but what they actually have done is performed OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on the TIFF files from the USPTO. This works pretty well but be warned that OCR isn't perfect. A mistake in OCR can provide you with incorrect (or even no) results. For older (pre-1976) patents, it is always a good idea to double-check against the original TIFF files. Google Patents can be used to find a patent number, which can then be pulled up directly in the USPTO database, if Google doesn't provide the images directly.

Google Patents includes a classification-grouped search results screen and integration of Prior Art and Google Scholar results. Many of the old Advanced Search options are now available on the results screen.

Other Search Options