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Environmental Engineering Research: Patents

Major Patent Databases

  • Espacenet Worldwide Patents

    This is the single, most comprehensive, free patent database available. The European Patent Office has developed a worldwide patent database of over 100 million patents from over 80 countries, most with full-text page images, available at no charge.

    The starting date varies greatly by country, with the earliest being 1836 for the United States.  The availability of any given search field also varies greatly by country and time period.  For example, only about 50% of the patents have a title field and only 33% have an English abstract. Please review the Espacenet help page regarding coverage of the worldwide database. An online tutorial for searching the system is available.  We recommend you consult the Cooperative Patent Classification System before beginning your search.

    This site permits downloading of the full-text of entire patents with a single command. To print or download the full-text, click on the patent title from any search result listing. Then click on the Original documents link on the left. Until one downloads the patent text, one can only print a single page at a time. To download the entire patent text, click on the Download link directly above and to the right of the displayed text. Do NOT use your browser's print, download, or save commands.

    Espacenet has partnered with Google Translate to create Patent Translate, which provides translations (of the patent abstract, description and claims) from and into English, French and German for a total of 29 different languages, including German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Chinese, and more. See the Patent Translate FAQ for more information.

    For overview information regarding the patenting processes and procedures in 50 countries, please refer to Derwent World Patent Index Reference Center.


    This patent database maintained by WIPO covers more than 67 million patents from over 50 countries and patent offices including European (EP) and World (PCT) patents. See National Collections - Data Coverage for a listing of the countries and data fields searched. A user's guide is available online.

    Special features include free online translation of patent texts using Google Translate and an innovative cross-lingual search capability that automatically translates search terms into multiple languages and includes those terms in your query. PATENTSCOPE also includes excellent analysis and refining tools to narrow search results. Information from the results can be shown as tables, graphs, or pie charts.  For example, a pie chart could be produced showing the number of patents from each country.

  • Google Patents

    Google Patents includes over 87 million patent publications from 17 patent offices around the world including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Deutsches Patent und Markenamt (DPMA), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), and China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). Patents without English full text are machine-translated to English, so you can search foreign patent documents using only English keywords.

    You can begin your search in a few ways:

    • Enter a patent publication or application number, such as [US9014905B1], [9014905], or [US 14/166,502]
    • Enter freeform text, such as [autonomous vehicle camera]
      • You can also enter ["exact phrases"] and restricts [assignee:"Google Inc"], [inventor:page], and [before:2001].

    More information is available from the Google Patents About Page.

Engineering Librarian

Erin Rowley's picture
Erin Rowley
108A Lockwood Library
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260

Google Patent Search

Citation Management Software

UB has a site license to EndNote, software that allows you to collect, store, organize, retrieve, and automatically format references to journal articles, books, patents, and more in your papers.  Contact me for more information.