This guide directs you to materials that will help search free patent sources
Administered by Library of Congress
Is a property right for a limited period of time, usually 20 years
- Trade Secrets
Contain information that companies keep secret from competitors
Distinguish goods and services
Charlotte Erdmann has served as a patent librarian fellow with the US Patent and Trademark Resource Center (formerly Depository Library Program) and has served as president of the related national association. Contact her here.
- 7 Step Search Strategy - (USPTO - PTRC)
Provides a brief one page guide to searching and reviewing patents. It is focused on USPTO databases
- U.S. Issued Patents and Published Applications
Are two separate databases and are searched separately. Issued patents are available from 1789-present and published applications are available since March 2001. You may now easily download PDF versions of both documents
- PubWest and PubEast
Searches databases that U.S. patent examiners use at the Patent Office. The system is very flexible and is available at the Engineering Library only. Contact Charlotte Erdmann for an appointment.
- United States Patent Classification
United States Patent Classification (USPC) tools uses three major hyperlinked resources: Index, Class Schedules (Manual of Classificaton) and Definitions
- Cooperative Patent Classification
Is the new patent systems that will be used by the United States and the European Patent Office. Other countries may also move to this system. It is being phased into use on U.S. databases and is now available on Espacenet.
- International Patent Classification
Is used in most countries of the world. The current version is 2013. This systems permits linking to various search websites. For example: esp@acenet. Some countries may use earlier versions.
- Derwent Innovations Index
Contains patents from many countries organized by patent families. Most topics go back to the 1960s. The database uses International Patent Classification and Derwent Classification. Chemical structure searching is available. This is a subscription database for Purdue users.
- Chemical Abstracts (SciFinder Scholar)
Is helpful for chemical U.S. and international patents as well as journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters. It is licensed for Purdue users only.
- Lexis-Nexis Patents
Permits full-text and fielded searching. It is licensed for Purdue users only.
- Patent Lens
Offers keyword and gene sequence searching for patents since 1976. Full-text is in PDF.