Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find U.S. and foreign patents?


U.S. Patents Online

United States Patent & Trademark Office

  • The full text of all U.S. patents issued since 1976 and full-page images of each page of every U.S. patent issued since 1790.
  • Full-page images only viewable with TIFF viewer. You can download a viewer for free from the USPTO page.

Google Patents

  • Full text searchable back to the very first U.S. patent.
  • Provides pdf versions of U.S. patents.
  • Only updates every few for really recent U.S. patents you will still want to search USPTO.

International Patents Online


  • The European Patent Office's search database.
  • Also covers some Asian countries' patent production.

Other Resources
Hennepin County Library Central Branch is a Patent Depository Library, and has copies of patents back to 1872 on microfiche. You can contact them at (612) 630-6120.

For more info check out our Patents Research Guide.


Return to the FAQ Home Page