Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find U.S. and foreign patents?
U.S. Patents Online
- 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.
- Full text searchable back to the very first U.S. patent.
- Provides pdf versions of U.S. patents.
- Only updates every few months...so 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.
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.