Help me pick my patents!!
October 26, 2010 4:09 AM   Subscribe

How to get info on international IP patents? (I'm a bit clueless!)

I need information about NEW international patents - US, European and, I think, Japanese - covering a specific technology (in this case, powder metallurgy). Specifically I need:

- the name of the company patenting the technology
- the dates when submitted and patent created
- some information about the technology (so I can put together a brief sentence about it)

I've been told I would need to visit the Patent Office in London to get this info (I'm in the UK) - but is there any way of doing it online for free or by paid subscription?

Any help appreciated as this is all new to me!

Many thanks
posted by low_horrible_immoral to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The European Patent Office has a good search engine:

Go to:

On the left-hand side-bar, at the top, you select your gateway (pick the country of your choice.)

When the new screen opens, you will see search options on the left-hand side-bar.

You want "advanced search."
posted by three blind mice at 4:29 AM on October 26, 2010

For the US you can use Google.
posted by holloway at 6:14 AM on October 26, 2010

I know you said "patents," but people often (incorrectly) refer to patent applications as patents. Patent applications are typically not public until 6 to 18 months after their initial filing, so if it is new applications you are looking for, they might not be public yet. Otherwise, the espacenet site mentioned by three blind mice is a good place to start.
posted by exogenous at 6:19 AM on October 26, 2010

Best answer: In addition to what exogeneous said above, you may be interested in reading up on patent families, and also a primer on how to read a patent (I like this one but welcome other suggestions).

Europe was covered, and here's
Japan and information on searching for Japanese patents in English.

If you will need to do this a lot, say, this is for work and you guys develop a lot of new products, you may be interested in a service like Patbase, which has patents for like 70 countries and shows all the links back and forth between them and the modifications to the applications and stuff. It's really full of stuff, but I have no idea what it costs. Maybe you could get access through some university or such.
posted by whatzit at 8:40 AM on October 26, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks guys, that's really really useful! It looks like I will be able to access the info online - I thought that might be the case. I am checking out the links now (and brushing up my Boolean search skills). :-)
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 4:57 AM on October 27, 2010

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