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What is a patent?
"A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor 'to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States' for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.
There are three types of patents. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant."
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Search and read the full text of patents from around the world
Google Advanced Patent Search
This search allows you to find patents by patent number, title, inventor name, original assignee name, U.S. classification, international classification, cooperative classification, type/status, and date.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office
The mission of the USPTO is to foster innovation and competitiveness by providing high quality and timely examination of patent and trademark applications, guiding domestic and international intellectual property policy, and delivering intellectual property information and education worldwide.
European Patent Office
The European Patent Office (EPO) offers inventors a uniform application procedure which enables them to seek patent protection in up to 40 European countries. Supervised by the Administrative Council, the Office is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation.
German Patent and Trademark Office
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) is the central authority in the field of industrial property protection in Germany. It operates within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The DPMA employs about 2,500 staff based at its offices in Munich, Jena and Berlin. The headquarters of the DPMA are located in Munich. It is the statutory duty of the DPMA to grant and administer Industrial property rights and provide information on industrial property rights effective in Germany.
Intellectual Property Data Collections
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Reference is a free public resource which provides a one-stop gateway to WIPO’s global collections of searchable IP data. It aims to facilitate universal access to IP information. Included are sections on patents, brands, international marks, industrial designs, laws & treaties, classifications, and WIPO standards.
Japan Patent Office
The Japan Patent Office is a Japanese governmental agency in charge of industrial property right affairs, under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It's mission is to promote the growth of the Japanese economy and industry by administering the laws relating to patents, utility models, designs, and trademarks.