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This guide provides information on searching for U.S. and non-U.S. patents.

Finding Aids & Tutorials

7-Step U.S. Patent Search Strategy Guide
From the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), this guide provides a 7-step strategy for searching U.S. patents and patent applications to locate and evaluate relevant prior art.
Finding Patents

This Web site from the Science and Engineering Library at the University of California San Diego lists several patent sites as well as tutorials and books that answer frequently asked patents questions.

Intellogist:  Interactive Patent Coverage Map

The Interactive Patent Coverage Map displays known patent search systems for countries selected.

Inventor's Handbook

The purpose of this Massachusetts Institute of Technology Website is to answer 11 frequently asked questions about U.S. patents, the patent process, and intellectual property.  The FAQs are followed by a listing of resources for inventors.

IP Awareness Assessment

Developed by USPTO and NIST, IP Awareness Assessment is a tool that is "designed to help evaluate IP asset awareness and target areas specific to those related business needs. The tool provides access to educational materials based on the assessment results."  Full assessment consists of 62 questions and takes 20 - 30 minutes.  A pre-assessment is also available; it contains 5 questions and takes about three minutes.


From MIT, this video tutorial answers the questions, "why search for patents literature," "what is a patent," and includes the basics of patent searching.

Patent Attorney / Agent Search

This database contains contact information for attorneys and agents with licenses to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  It can be searched by personal name, business/firm name, city, and state or province. 

Patent Lens

The goal of this site is to help users understand and navigate the intellectual property landscape within the life sciences. Along with a search engine, it contains technology patent landscape analyses, guides to intellectual property policies and practices, and tutorials.

Patent Research

Step-by-step tutorial from the library of University of California at Santa Barbara.

Searching Patents

A patent tutorial from the Spire Project.

What Every Chemist Should Know about Patents

From the American Chemical Society, this is a primer on U.S. patent law and rights.