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Biomedical 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. 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) between English and 31 other languages including German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Chinese, and more. Translation from and into French and German is also available for 27 of the 31 languages. See the Patent Translate FAQ for more information.

  • USPTO Patent Databases

    The United States Patent & Trademark Office offers free access to the full text of U.S. patents and patent applications through its website.

    The USPTO Issued Patents Database contains the full text of U.S. patents issued from 1790 to the present. Patents from 1790-1975 can be searched by patent number, issue date, or classification code only. Patents from 1976 to the present can be searched by keyword as well as patent number, classification code, inventor's name, assignee's (company's) name, issue and application date, etc. The USPTO Patent Applications Database contains the full text of patent applications published since March 15, 2001.

    We recommend you consult the Cooperative Patent Classification System before beginning your search.


    This patent database maintained by WIPO covers nearly 67 million patents from over 50 countries 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.

  • Derwent Innovations Index

    Although this database is more limited in the number of countries and dates covered (2008+), it has a sophisticated search system that permits very precise, yet broad, retrieval. For example, this system permits left and right hand word stemming (truncation), e.g., ‘*degrad*’ that would pick up all words with that character string embedded therein (biodegradation, photodegradable, degradations, etc.) One can also build complex searching using Boolean logic use ‘OR’ to search for many synonyms/variant terms and ‘AND’ to combine any number of concepts. As part of the Web of Science search system, Derwent Innovations Index provides in-depth indexing of patents from 40 issuing authorities for the years 2008 to the present. Nearly all scientific and technical areas are covered including chemistry, electrical technologies, electronics, engineering, and other applied technologies.

    For six major patent offices (U.S., Europe, PCT, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan), patents and articles cited by a given patent can be viewed, but not searched. Using the Advanced Search feature, citing patents can be viewed and searched by number, assignee, and inventor.

    The database can be used to discover the latest technological advances, monitor competitors' progress, formulate fresh ideas for research, or get an overview of inventions in the global marketplace.

    Additional details can be found in our Derwent Innovations Index database description page and the database producer's detailed Database Help Index.

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.