Skip to main content
Purdue University Purdue Logo Purdue Libraries

Citation Analysis: Technology Transfer (Patents)


Technology Transfer includes the filing of U.S. and international patents on inventions resulting from your research.

This page will give you a brief outline on finding and printing patent documents and also finding other patents that cite patent documents.

For information on research for patentability of an invention, please see the Patents and Trademarks guide.

Searching for Patents

Search for patents on your inventions at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website:

You can generally simply enter your name in the Term 1 field and select "inventor name" from the pull-down menu to the right.  Years of coverage for this database are 1976 to present.

Search for European patents at the European Patent Office website:

Select "advanced search" and enter your name in the Inventor field.  This database indexes documents from many countries.  Years of coverage vary by country.

Patents and Citation Counts

You can also use the USPTO database  and the Espacenet database to find patents that cite your patents.

At the USPTO search page, begin by finding the record for your patent.  Then, follow the link to "Referenced by."  Alternatively, you can enter the US patent number for your patent and select "referenced by" in the pull-down menu.

At the Espacenet site, begin by finding the record for your patent.  You can then follow the link to "View list of citing documents."

While your patents can and will be cited in journal publications, there is currently no database that you can use to find citations to patents in journal articles.

Printing Patents

A number of patent printing resources exist on the web. Many provide PDF versions of patent documents, and require only the patent number to access them.
U.S. patents, PDF or TIFF format, free.
U.S. and worldwide patents, compressed CPC format (CPC viewer freely available). Patents accessible for a fee.

Google Patent search
U.S. patents, PDF format, free.

Patent Fetcher
U.S. patents and published patent applications, PDF format, free.
U.S. patents, PDF format, free.


Much of the content of this guide is based on a guide created at University of Michigan Library and which can be viewed here. Thank you to the group that created that guide and allowed us to make use of the content for our own guide.