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Online patent databases

Patent publications are issued and archived by national and regional patent official. They are indexed in official patent databases from which commercial patent databases glean the information. Patent publications issued in the Finnish Patent and Registration Office can be found in the  PatInfo database. However, when seeking for patent information, ithe easiest way is often to turn to official free online patent databases:

  • The European Patent Office EPO's open database Espacenet features patent publications from more than 100 national and regional patent offices around the world in fulltext. The database is updated on a regular basis. You can search from fulltext in English, French, and German.
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO's open access database Patentscope indexes timely patent data from most of the world's national and regional patent offices since 1975.
  • US patent publications are available in Espacenety, Patentscope and in the open access database of the United States Patent and Trademark  Office USPTO.

How to read a patent publication

Front page provides the title, priority and publication number, dates, names of inventors and applicant, patent classes, and abstract.  

Description provides a detailed description of the invention, describing prior art and the defects of existing technology, and explaining the features and application possbilities of the invention. References to patent and non-patent literature close to the invention is also discussed.

Claims is the legal core of the patent application publication, listing the inventive features that the patent seeks to claim protection for.

Images a d appendixes A patent publication also includes images and appendixes, e.g. the patent officer's novelty and patentability search report.

Activate a personal WIPO account to use Patentscope