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Coulter Program

Resources to support research done by the Coulter Program

Patent Search Quick Guide

ENGR 100.510 info

  • Use a patent's country code to determine which countries it's patented in 
  • The title page of the patent should list the application and publication dates
  • In the US, patents are valid for 20 years. The same is true for the European Patent Office. 
  • To determine duration of patents in other countries, use Google

Strategies for Searching for Patents

  • Patent searching is complex and time consuming.  Plan on spending a few hours learning the search process and additional hours searching and evaluating results.

  • You will need to document your search.  Keep careful records of which patent databases you search, what keywords and classification numbers you search in the databases, document numbers of the patent and application documents that you retrieve and examine, and the date and time of your search.

  • Keyword searching alone is never enough.  A comprehensive patent search requires that you search by classification and sub-classification numbers. 

Databases to Search for Patents



Patent Searching Tutorial