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Patents: USPTO

Resources for finding, obtaining and understanding patents.

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was established under Article 1, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution:

"The Congress shall have Power To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

It is an agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce.

United States Patent and Trademark Office homepage (

  • General Information concerning Patents
  • Getting started with patents
  • Search Patents (
    • Note: There are separate searches for granted patents and for published patent applications (since 2001).
    • Note: Patents and applications after 1976 may be searched by keyword in the full text of the patent; patents before 1976 may only be searched by patent number, issue date, and/or U.S. patent classification code.
    • Note: Images of patents are available only as TIFF images, which require a special viewer not available on some computers.
  • Electronic Official Gazette ( -- Browse the week's new patents (most recent 52 weeks only.)
  • Manual of Patent Classification ( -- Listing and description of the system of U.S. classification codes used for searching patents by topic. This includes both the old U.S. patent classifications codes (USPC) and the new Cooperative Patent Classification codes (CPC).


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