Skip to main content

Toolkit for SEAS Students: Handbooks, Properties, Patents and More: Patents (get ideas)

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2018 2:02 PM


Patents are a great source of detailed technical information on devices, systems, processes, components, even new organisms.  They also provide drawings (usually lots of drawings) including schematics, cross sections, flow charts, etc. Many include data.

Use Google Patents to find this kind of information in full text patents from the U.S. and a wide range of other countries.

  • 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.

Find more helpful guidance on how to search for patents on the Patents Research Guide.

Engineering Librarian

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