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Useful information for the individual inventor.

Patents searching

The US Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) databases, Patent Full-Text and Images (PatFT) and Application Full-Text and Images (AppFT) are being retired on September 30, 2022, and will be replaced by Patent Public Search. All three are freely available for searching until the USPTO makes the switch permanent.

You can reach PatFT and AppFT from

For Trademarks, the database is Trademarks Electronic Search System (TESS). See the Trademarks Research Guide for more information.

Getting help with patents searching

Please make an appointment to get help with patent searching. Please email me at to make an appointment, this is the fastest way to get my attention.

Before your appointment you may want to review The Seven Step Strategy for patents searching, and this page on patent basics.

Patent searching is time consuming, so you will want to keep careful notes. If you are seeking a patent for your invention, you may want to engage a patent lawyer. Only they can give you legal advice.

If you are not affiliated with Rutgers, another option is the Newark Public Library, which is also a designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center.


Conducting a patent search is a complicated process. Please see this tutorial from the US Patent and Trademark Office on how to conduct a preliminary US Patent search.

The has tutorials on searching for patents in their database.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has a very comprehensive 8 hour e-Tutorial on how to use and exploit patent information. The tutorial is interactive and self-paced, however it is only available at designated times and by registering for an account.

How to Search for Patents

UCF Libraries

This video explains patent classification systems and demonstrates how to conduct a patent search step-by-step using the free global patent database, Espacenet. Video written and created by Karli Mair in collaboration with Patent Librarian Hal Mendelson.


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