Patents are important documents because the vast majority of "useful" discoveries are published in this form only and because the patent document should cite all the existing literature about the current invention - both other patents, journal papers, books, technical reports a.o. - an overview of principles and practice of patenting: WikiPedia Category:Patent law with links to 100+ detailed pages, a good starting point: Patent applications. Another very good introduction: Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry: Patents.
European patents and patents from other countries
- European, American, Japanese and WIPO patents back to 1920. Full text and illustrations available as pdf and/or html-documents
- Searching the complete text of most patents is also possible through Google (by limiting the search to: site:espacenet.com). Use the Google-cached-version to get a fast view of the description (the main body) of the patent with the searched words highlighted
- The complete patent document can be saved and later printed in one step
- In Denmark, photocopies of complete patent documents may be bought from Patent- og Varemærkestyrelsens bibliotek - price about 50 D.Kr. for up to 200 pages
Search the Search the European patent classification
United States patents
Google Patents - the easiest way of searching and obtaining US patents
- Search for known patent numbers, e.g.: 6754873 (often cited as US 6.754.873 - must be searched as compact string of numbers only)
- Search for Assignee, e.g.: Google Inc.
- Records include links to Cited patents (and other literature) and Citing patents
- Note: degree of coverage: number of patents, years a.o. is currently not available
- Only US patents, 1790 to present
- The complete text (HTML) of the patent document is available from the very beginng in 1790
Searching the complete text of all US Patents is also possible through Google (by limiting the search to site:uspto.gov). Use the Google-cached-version to get a fast view of both claims and description (the main body) of the patent with the words searched for highlighted
- Images of patent documents are available from 1976 but requires a TIFF-reader, pdf-versions (and thus: full documnets) are usually available form EPO (se above)
Patent images must be retrieved from the database one page at a time at USPTO. In Denmark, photocopies of complete patent documents may be bought from Patent- og Varemærkestyrelsens bibliotek - price about 50 D.Kr. for up to 200 pages
The Patent document (HTML-version) contains many references to older patents (=References Cited) but also to new patents citing the current document (= Referenced by)
- Subject search through US Patent Classification - resolve the meaning of classification of known patents and/or find all other patents about the same or closely related subject. Click on the red P to the left to search for all other US Patents within same field. Use "Refine search", add "and" more word(s) that should occur in the patent document
Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) - Japanese patents - Machine translation out of order
- Click link: PAJ
- Search for words in: Applicant,Title of invention, Abstract - or select Number Search if you have found the patent elsewhere
- Choose [Index Indication] and select the interesting patent
- Choose [Detail] to obtain a machine translated (to english) version of the patent document
- Print every single part of the patent document (right mousebutton) or copy/paste into a WORD document
SciFinder Scholar - Chemical Abstracts (1907 ff).
Chemical Abstracts covers patents issued by all major patent authorities. A chemistry-relevant patent is only indexed (and title and abstract rewritten) when first issued, but CA includes in most cases information about the patent family, many patents are also issued in USA and one or more european countries, so the full-text will be available at either EPO or USPTO (se above).
Crazy Patents! Novel, non-obvious, but maybe not-so-"useful" inventions - only for fun !!