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How Do I Find Patents?

This guide provides information about patents and help for finding the resources you need.

Patent Offices

Each regional Patent Office provides an online searchable database.

Canadian Patents Database - CIPO

  • This database contains over 2.3 million patent documents from 1869 to the present. This database is updated regularly with newly granted patents and applications opened to public inspection.

DEPATISnet

  • Contains patents from the German patent information system.

Espacenet - European Patent office (EPO)

  • European patents are searchable in the Espacenet database. Full text images of the documents are available as PDF files.

Japan Patent Office - JPO

  • The JPO is responsible for the protection of the rights for patents for inventions, utility models for devices, industrial designs, and trademarks in Japan.

United States Patent and Trademark Office - USPTO

  • Searchable, full-text database from January 1, 1976 onward (full-page images since 1790).

Online Resources

There are several free searchable databases online.

Free Patents Online

  • Provides fast, easy-to-use and free access to millions of patents and patent applications.

Google Patents

  • Searchable full-text/full page images of U.S. patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It is an alternative interface to searching USPTO. It is Google, so it is easy to search.

Nexis Uni (McMaster only)

  • Includes federal & state cases, statutes, regulations, patents and other legal materials from the United States.

The Lens

  • A worldwide, open-access, free full-text patent informatics resource. It includes patents from the U.S., Europe, Australia and WIPO and counterparts in several countries.

PatentScope - World Intellectual Property Organization

  • This facility allows you to search 1,374,585 international patent applications and to view the latest information and documents to the International Bureau.
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