How to Get a Free U.S. Patent Search

Patents grant to inventors a property right for their invention. Specifically, patents, which the United States Patent and Trademark Office issues, give inventors production, use and sale rights to an invention for 20 years. The USPTO Patent Full-Text Databases keep records of all current and expired patents and have full-text information on all patents issued since 1976. Individuals can locate patents using these noncommercial, free databases by following a few simple steps.

Go to the USPTO Patent Full-Text Databases website. Click "Quick Search" to go to the patent search page.

Enter a keyword into both the "Term 1" and "Term 2" boxes. These keywords can be business names, dates, locations, personal names or patent numbers.


Click the center drop-down menu and select "And" to search for both keywords together, "Or" to search for either keyword or "Andnot" to search for the Term 1 keyword but not the Term 2 keyword.


Click the drop-down menus on the right to select categories for the keywords, such as "City," "State," "Inventor Name" or "Referenced By." You can select "All Fields" to search for matching patents in all categories. Click the "Search" button to locate matching patents.



About the Author

Elias Westnedge began writing in 2009. His work appears on various websites, covering aviation, sales, grants, business and consumer finance. Westnedge holds a Bachelor of Science in aviation.