Patents for Fun and Research

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Included in this post are search engines and portals where you have free access to patent documents from all over the world. They are best used for locating a patent document or full citation for an item you already know about. The tools listed in this post are not intended to research patentability or prior-art searching.

There is a very easy to use Google Advanced Patent Search. This is the portal I used to link to the Rubik’s Cube patent image in this post. All I needed was the patent number!

The Feldberg Engineering librarians have written this  excellent overview of patent search that includes comments on prior art search, how to read a patent, and valuation of patents.

Other places you might search for patents are

  •  Ei Patents which offers sophisticated search and retrieval tools across all patents registered with the U.S. and European Patent Offices.
  • esp@cenet  – international patents, patent families
  • Freshpatents  – the latest published US patent applications each week,
  • keyword monitoring, RSS feeds, browse by location.
  • USPTO Patent Database   - full-text since 1976, full-page images since 1790
  • WikiPatents  – contributes to the US patent system by reviewing issued patents and pending patent applications; features a wiki-like interface to review, rate, and discuss patents

You can always request copies of patents from DartDoc, or ask your librarian for assistance in locating them.

And for a little more fun, check out Patently Apple. Patently Apple is a long time commentator and speculator of all things Apple done by watching public patent applications, legal filings and more.

 

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