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Patents & Trademarks Resources

The Science and Engineering Center at Fogler Library is the home of the only Patent and Trademark Resource Center in Maine. This guide will help you find patents in your area of interest. If you have questions about finding patents related to a certain technology or locating a copy of a known patent, please contact Martin Wallace at the Science and Engineering Center: 581-1678 or martin.wallace@umit.maine.edu. Or, if you are a member of the University of Maine community, you may use the online Ask a Librarian service.

COMPREHENSIVE SEARCHES FOR U.S. PATENTS

Fogler Library's Patent and Trademark Resource Center has all the resources required for doing a comprehensive search for U.S. Patents and Trademarks. A comprehensive search includes all patents back to 1790. Please contact Martin Wallace at the Science and Engineering Center: 581-1678 or martin.wallace@umit.maine.edu, to make an appointment for help with your search. Please view this thirty-six minute patent searching tutorial How to Conduct a Preliminary Patent Search prior to contacting the PTRC.

Disclaimer: PTRCs are neither required nor encouraged to conduct patent and trademark searches for their patrons as that activity may be interpreted as rendering a judgment or opinion. PTRCs are required to instruct patrons in the use of the search tools available at the PTRCs for patrons conducting their own patent and trademark searches.

Patent Resources

U.S. and international patent offices and patent searching interfaces on the internet

  • CobaltIP. An integrated suite of search and analysis tools for researching USPTO, EPO, WIPO, and JPO patents. Researchers can automatically find similar patents, view PDFs, auto-detect niche markets and likely buyers of target patents. Due to licensing restrictions, CobaltIP is available to University of Maine students, faculty and staff after a one-time consultation with the patents and trademarks librarian to review terms and establish a personal user account. Commercial use is not permitted. To schedule an appointment, call 581-1678 or email martin.wallace@umit.maine.edu.
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. U.S. patent and trademark information, contacts and application procedures. Almost any question regarding the application process can be answered there. USPTO News. Archive of news announcements.
  • U.S. Patent Database. Full page image of patents from 1790 to the present. Searching by title and abstracts words, full text of patent, inventor or assignee is only available for 1976 to the present. Comprehensive searching requires the use of the Patent Classification System. See the tutorial for assistance in utilizing all the capabilities of this database. Current Fee Schedule.
  • Electronic Patent Official Gazette. Announcements of issued patents from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The most recent 52 issues of the Patent Official Gazette are available online. Prior issues of the Gazette are available at the PTRCs. The Electronic Patent Official Gazette allows you to browse or search through the patents issued each week. You can browse by geographic origin of the inventor, inventor or assignee name and patent class and subclass. The Official Gazette includes the summary of the patent and a representative drawing. You can link to the full text of the patent from the Gazette.
  • USPTO Patent Assignments. Updated continuously as assignments are recorded. Determine who has the rights to a particular patent or patent application.
  • Australian Patents (AusPat). Provided by the Australian Intellectual Property Office.
  • British Library. Patents at the British Library. Links to databases, web sites, and patent and trademark information worldwide.
  • Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Canadian patent, trademark and copyright information.
  • European Patent Office (EPO). Use their database:esp@cenet. Search front pages of EP, PCT, Japanese, and other worldwide patents. Espacenet contains inventor/date/title for U.S. patents back to 1920. Search the European Classification System.
  • Global list of patent offices. Maintained by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Google Patent Search. Over seven million U.S. patents and patent applications available in full-text and pdf formats. Keyword searchable by patent number, title, inventor, assignee, or classification.
  • Japanese Patent Office. They maintain the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) which is a database of patents, designs and trademarks extending back to the late 1800's.
  • LatiPat. (Spanish Language Website). Provides access to the bibliographic and image data of patent documents published in the Latin American countries.
  • Patent Lens. Free full-text patent search engine. Indexes U.S., WIPO, European and Australian issued patents and applications. Unique chemical structure and protein (DNA, RNA) sequence search interfaces available.
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). PATENTSCOPE Full Text Database. Search over 30 million Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) full-text, bibliographic data and image documents, including over 2.2 million patent applications. International Patent Classification system. List of Patent Databases in Different Countries.

Specialized Patent Databases

  • DNA Patent Database (DPD). A resource for policy makers and members of the general public interested in fields like genomics, genetics and biotechnology, the DNA Patent Database (DPD) contains a collection of DNA-based patents and patent applications issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and makes the full-text of such patents and applications available to users at no cost.
  • SureChem. Searches over 9 million compounds index by USPTO, EPO & WIPO as well as MEDLINE and JPO abstracts. Search by full-text or chemical structure. Subscription required.

Patent Search Services

Fogler library does not recommend or endorse any patent search service, free or fee based. This list is provided for informational purposes only.

  • LegalZoom Patent Search. Comprehensive Patent Search identifies relevant U.S. patents, both issued and pending approval..

Patent Translation Services

  • Paterra. Machine translation of Japanese patents.

Internet Sites Providing PDFs of U.S. Patents

  • Free Patents Online. Provides access to U.S. patents from number 4,000,000 to the present.
  • Micropatent. Pay service providing the world's largest commercial collection of patent data, with over 50 million full-text and front-page records from the USPTO, European and World Patent services, Japanese Patent Abstracts, and over 70 other countries and patent authorities.
  • Patent Retriever. Provides free PDFs of US, EPO and PCT patents and applications.
  • Patents on Cloud 8. Charge is $0.49 per patent. They provides patents from many countries and will send them zipped together in PDF format.
  • PatentStorm. Provides PDFs of U.S. patents from 1976-present.
  • Pat2pdf.org. Provides U.S. patents granted from 1838 to present.
  • SumoBrain. Full-text searching of US and EP documents, PCT applications and Japanese patent abstracts. Users can save, organize, annotate and share documents in workfiles. Patents in workfiles can be merged, moved and exported in CSV or Excel formats. SumoBrain also allows users to save searches and create search alerts.

Exporting Patent Information to EndNote and Excel

  • Patent Tools sponsored by Greenberg Traurig. Offers a variety of export tools, both free and fee based, for exporting to Excel, HTML, and others. Other tools included allow for generating charts, tables, claim trees, and automated summaries.
  • SumoBrain. Full-text searching of US and EP documents, PCT applications and Japanese patent abstracts. Users can save, organize, annotate and share documents in workfiles. Patents in workfiles can be merged, moved and exported in CSV or Excel formats. SumoBrain also allows users to save searches and create search alerts.

Non-Patent Literature Databases (Journal Articles, Technical Reports, etc.)

Maine Statewide Databases or Free Internet Databases

These databases are useful for checking for journal articles, technical reports, and news announcements about similar products and technology. If an idea has been published anywhere, it cannot be granted a patent.

  • Academic Search Complete. Provides full text for over 3,200 scholarly publications.
  • AGRICOLA. Produced by the National Agricultural Library. Resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines, including animal and veterinary sciences, plant sciences, forestry, etc.
  • AGRIS/CARIS. Provides access to a large collection of world literature covering all aspects of agricultural sciences and technology, including grey literature which is not available through normal publication and distribution channels. Sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. 1975 to present.
  • Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts.
  • ASCE Civil Engineering Database (CEDB). ASCE's CEDB covers bibliographic records of ASCE documents published back to 1958, including journals, conference proceedings, books, standards, manuals, magazines, and newsletters. Fogler Library also has the print copy of "Cumulative Index to ASCE Publications," 1950 - 1979: Sci Index TA1.A53. 
  • Business Source Complete. Provides full text for over 2500 business journals.
  • Citeseer.com. Scientific Literature Digital Library. NEC Corp. Indexes Postscript and PDF research articles on the Web. Has citation searching component.
  • CogPrints. CogPrints is an electronic archive for papers in many areas of Computer Science. Full text of the cited references is available.
  • Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies. Some links to the online fulltext.
  • Computing Research Respository (CoRR). Preprints in computer science. Mechanisms for searching, downloading and submitting preprints are provided.
  • Cooperative Extension Websites by State. Many full-text reports.
  • Cooperative Forestry Research Unit Publications Database.
  • DOE Information Bridge. Full-text reports for 1995 to present.
  • DTIC (Defense Technical Information Center) Scientific and Technical Information Network. PARTIAL FULL TEXT DATABASE. Access to all unclassified, unlimited citations to documents added from late December 1974 to present, many from 1998 to present in full text.
  • EECS Technical Reports. A searchable database of computer science technical reports from over 100 institutions worldwide. Over 20,000 reports are available in full text.
  • E-Print Network. Maintained by the Dept. of Energy. Allows simultaneous searching of a variety of preprint servers.
  • Electronic Orange Book. Find patent and other useful information on pharmaceutical drugs. Search by patent number, company name, active ingredient or proprietary drug name. Database provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Energy Citations Database. U.S. Department of Energy database. Coverage is 1948 to present.
  • Electric Power Research Institute. (EPRI).
  • Entrez Search and Retrieval System. National Library of Medicine sponsored databases including protein and nucleotide databases and PubMed.
  • Fire Research Information Services (FRIS). FIREDOC database. Made available by the Building and Fire Research Laboratory BFRL), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
  • IEEE Xplore & IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL). Complete full-text access to the IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL). Includes over 160 journals published by the IEEE and IET, transactions, conference proceedings and active IEEE standards. Indexing extends back to 1988 for all journals and conference proceedings and further back to 1913 for selected publications. Offers an alerting service, saved searches, and other valuable Web 2.0 capabilities for users who register for free personal accounts.
  • IngentaConnect. (Formerly UnCover). Coverage is 1988 - Present. A global research gateway providing free online searching of over 12,000 journals in all disciplines. Indexing is limit to author, keyword from the title and abstract (not all records have an abstract), and journal title. Subject headings are not available. It is updated daily and this would be an excellent choice to look for articles published in a particular journal or published very recently.
  • LexisNexis Academic. Besides indexing a broad range of news, business and legal publications, LexisNexis also includes the ability to search full-text patents, patent legal information, patent family documents in INPADOC, English translations of Japanese patent abstracts, and more.
  • MasterFILE Premier. Provides full text for over 1,830 general reference, business, consumer health, general science. Full text extends back to January, 1990. Indexing and abstracts is available for an additional 1,000 journals.
  • MEDLINE. Index produced by the National Library of Medicine. Includes over 3,600 journals covering all areas of clinical and experimental medicine, nursing, dentistry and health administration. Updated weekly. Coverage is 1947 to present.
  • National Environmental Publications Internet Site (NEPIS). Index to over 9,500 full-text EPA reports.
  • NASA Technical Report Server (NTRS). This database collects, archives, and disseminates aerospace information produced by NASA and other relevant worldwide research.
  • National Technical Reports Library (NTRL). Provides indexing to a collection of more than 2.2 million historical (pre-1900) to current U.S. government-sponsored technical reports archived by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Over 700,000 documents are available in full-text format. Subject coverage includes engineering, computer science, transportation, medicine, biology, energy, communications, agriculture, and more.
  • New York Times Article Archive. 1851 - present. Full text of articles can be purchased online or use the microfilm collection in Fogler Library.
  • OSHLINE with NIOSHTIC Database. Occupational safety and health resources.
  • Recent Advances in Manufacturing. Covers over 500 journals.
  • SciCentral. Gateway to the best scientific research news sources
  • Science Accelerator, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Department of Energy. Search collections of DOE research results, project descriptions, and accomplishments. These collections enable you to find out about ongoing research projects, explore significant DOE discoveries, learn about DOE Nobel Prize Winners, access and search scientific e-prints, locate science conference papers and proceedings, patents, and more.
  • ScienceDirect. FULL TEXT FOR UMAINE SUBSCRIBED JOURNAL TITLES ONLY (1800+). Online access to full text from 1995 for most titles. Sign up for automatic notification when new issues are published.
  • Scirus. produced by Elsevier. Use for searching instead of ScienceDirect interface. Use this Advanced search which provides many options for full text searching and across a variety of databases.
  • TRID: the TRIS & ITRDDatabase. TRID is the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information. It is produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board of the US National Academies with sponsorship by State Departments of Transportation, the various administrations at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other sponsors of TRB's core technical activities. ITRD is produced by ITRD member organizations under the sponsorship of Joint Transport Research Centre (collectively JTRC) of the International Transport Forum and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and ITRD. TRID covers all modes and disciplines of transportation and contains more than 900,000 records of published research. Over 64,000 records contain links to full-text documents. A Transportation Research Thesaurus is available to download and provide guidance on searching TRID.
  • U.S. EPA Web Search. Provides advanced searching of the EPA web site.
  • U.S. Forest Service. Publications database.

U.S. Patent Resources in Fogler Library

  • Index to the U.S. Patent Classification. (SciPTDL T223.A25) December 2003. Also see the online version. Provides a starting point to look for classification numbers.
  • Manual of Classification. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (SciPTDL T223.F4U5a) Updated for 2002. Also see the online version. Can scan through the classes to find possible appropriate class number to search.
  • U.S. Patent Classification System Classification Definitions. (SciPTDL Microfiche, C21.3/2) Also see the online version. (Need to choose the definitions.) Provides in depth scope notes and see references for how the classification system is applied by the examiners.
  • Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). 8th ed., Rev. 6, 2007. U.S. Patent Office.
  • Subject-matter index of patents for inventions issued by the United States Patent Office, 1790 to 1873. (SciPTDL T223.D7A45 1976 v.1 - 3). Helpful subject index which provides patent number, date of registration, inventor, and inventor residence. For newer indexes, see Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents and General Index of the Official Gazette, below.
  • Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents and General Index of the Official Gazette. 1840-2002. Indexes by inventor and assignee name and by general subject or title words. They provide the patent number, registration date and the volume and page number where it can be located in the Official Gazette. These are the most effective method for starting an investigation of an older patent or inventor. (SciPTDL T223.D3). Also, limited online availability from University of Michigan MBooks Project. For older indexes, see Subject-matter index of patents for inventions issued by the United States Patent Office, 1790-1873, above.

Canadian Patent resources in Fogler Library

  • Canada. Intellectual Property Office. Patent Office. Patent Office Record. Located in Canadian Documents, 3rd Floor Fogler Library. CAN RG42-1. 1980 - present. Latest issues in Current Periodicals Room.
  • Canadian Patent Office Record. Orono Microfiche, Serials. 1873 - 1900. Index located at the beginning of each year by inventor and title, keyword. At the end of each month are listed the copyrights and trademarks granted. Issued as part of the CIHM/ICMH microfiche series.

Patent Tutorials and Workshops

Patent and Inventors Internet Sites

Electronic Journals

  • Entrepreneur Magazine Online. Coverage is 1997 to present - full text of articles.
  • Invent Resources.
  • Inventors' Digest.
  • Managing intellectual property. A leading international magazine for owners of patents, trademarks and copyrights; provides news, comment, data and authoritative analysis, including the World IP Survey. Fogler Library has access from July 1998 up to 1 month ago.
  • Patent Information News. Quarterly publication of European patent information published by the European Patent Office (EPO).
  • WIPO Magazine. Published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. 2000+ is online.
  • World Patent Information. The International Journal for Industrial Property Documentation, Information, Classification and Statistics. Subscription e-journal, requires authentication.

Books and eBooks

  • WIPO guide to using patent information. Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2009. (T210 .W675 2009eb). Explains what a patent is, the information contained in a patent document, where patent information can be found, and basic search strategies.

Invention Promotion Firms and Government Agencies

History of Inventions and Inventors

Directories of Products and Companies

Registered Agents and Attorneys

Search to see if a similar product is already being sold.

Trade Shows and Inventors Congresses

See TSSN.com: The Ultimate Trade Show Resource. Searchable index of trade shows by state, city and industry.

Inventor and Entrepreneur Education Opportunities in Maine

Trademark Resources

Small Business Resources for Patents & Trademarks

Internet Directories of Patents & Trademarks

Patent and Trademark Organizations

Related Information Sources

Fogler Library's Patent and Trademark Resource Center website; describes steps involved in patent and trademark searching, locating patents, and the services we offer.


Created by: Martin Wallace | Revised: 02/25/2014

5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207.581.1661 | Fax: 207.581.1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
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