Skip to Main Content
Ask A Librarian

Patents: Search Patents

Patents, patent searching, inventor resources

Find Keywords

Find Keywords--Brainstorm

What are we looking for?

Ask 4 Basic questions:

–What does the invention do? --essential function
–What is the end result?--essential effect or basic product resulting from the invention,
–What is it made of?--physical structure of invention, and/or
–What is it used for?-- intended use of invention

7 Steps for Effective Patent Searching

  1. Find keywords to use with the Index to US Patent Classification.
  2. Check the Manual of Classification.
  3. Read Class and Subclass definitions.
  4. Retrieve and Browse Patent Titles and Abstracts
  5. Retrieve and review all patent documents within relevant classifications.
  6. Study Relevant Patent Documents.
  7. Check References and previously published documents.

Patent Webbased Databases

United States Patent & Trademark Office


Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Japanese Patent Office

World Intellectual Property Organization and Patentscope

Google Patents



Chemical Patents

These specialized databases contain patent information

SciFinder Scholar  (WVU users only)

Use Chemical Abstracts to seach for chemical patents and limit to patents.

Electronic Orange Book

Specialized FDA database for Drug Patents and the extension of their terms.

Patent Search Videos

This YouTube playlist,Searching Patents using Classification,  was created to assist you in learning how to search patents. Most are less than 2 minutes.    For further assistance contact Marian Armour-Gemmen.

Patent & Trademark Librarian

Profile Photo
Terra Rogerson
Evansdale Library