This is the "United States Databases" page of the "Patent Resources on the Web and in the Engineering Library" guide.
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This guide directs you to materials that will help search free patent sources
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

United States Databases Print Page

Engineering Library

Links to Intellectual Property Glossary (USPTO)

  • Copyright
    Administered by Library of Congress
  • Patents
    Is a property right for a limited period of time, usually 20 years
  • Trade Secrets
    Contain information that companies keep secret from competitors
  • Trademarks
    Distinguish goods and services

Patent Librarian

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.


U.S. Patent Office Search Databases

  • 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.

Search Tools

  • 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.

Tutorials for Searching (USPTO)

A Seven Step Search Strategy with Detailed Examples (2014) / Prepared by the USPTO

How to Conduct a Preliminary US Patent Search: A Step by Step Process / Prepared by the USPTO

Patent Protection in the United States   (Required Listening)  -  30 minutes (Prior to changes in law for US First to File)

Specialized Patent Office Databases

Major Patent Databases

  • 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.

Subject Guide

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Charlotte A. Erdmann
Contact Info
Engineering Library
Potter Engr Ct, Rm. 157
Purdue University Libraries
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