Patents information

  • This page aims to give Brookes users a starting point for finding patents information online.

    Please note: Oxford Brookes Library is not able to carry out patent searching on your behalf. For comprehensive searches or specialist help, we recommend you contact the British Library or one of the specialist patents libraries listed below.

    Patents in the UK

    The organisations listed below are able to provide help and advice on patents and patents research.

    • UK Intellectual Property Office: responsible for intellectual property in the UK. They deal with legal aspects of patents, including applications and grants. They also deal with trade marks, copyright and designs.
    • Patents Information at the British Library: The national collection of patents is held at the British Library in London. Their website includes general information about intellectual property, detailed information on searching for patents worldwide and links to a range of other databases. It's possible to visit the collection in person, and the British Library can also conduct comprehensive patents searches, on a pay-as-you-go basis.
    • Patent Information Centres in the UK : centres around the UK, who can help with patents research.

    Finding patents information online

    There are several free databases on the Internet, which allow you to search for patents and, in some cases, access the full text of published patents. It should be noted that none of these databases are comprehensive.

    • Espacenet : This is the largest free online patents database, has international coverage, and is an excellent starting point. Click on Advanced Search to search. You have the option to search individual countries or "Worldwide". Patents are displayed as full-text pdf files, complete with images. However, you can only download a single page at a time.
    • Free Patents Online : One of the newer patents sites, which will allows you to search through US and European patents. To search, click on Search Patents then Quick Search. The full text of patents are displayed as HTML files. You can also pull up the full pdf files with images. Work is ongoing on this site, and they are aiming to include Japanese patents in their searches in the near future.
    • The Lens : An independent resource allowing full text searching of 8 million patents from US, Europe, Australia, and WIPO.
    • USPTO Patent Databases : This database covers US patents, provides good searching facilities, and allows easy printing of full-text patents. A useful additional feature is the "referenced by" link, which allows you to see which subsequent US patents have referred to a particular patent. The database is NOT international in coverage, and extra software is required to print out the images (although most can be printed out in pdf format from Esp@cenet).
    • WIPO PatentsScope : A database provided by The World Intellectual Property Organization ( WIPO) who are "the United Nations agency dedicated to the use of intellectual property (patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, etc.) as a means of stimulating innovation and creativity"

    Books in Oxford Brookes University Library

    The titles listed below are just some of those available in the library, giving more detailed information and advice on searching for patents.

    Registered designs

    DesignView allows you to search for registered designs using keywords.