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Patents and Trademarks

Subject Guide for Patents and Trademarks

Patent Types

PATENTS provide protection to inventors so s/he can develop, market, or otherwise implement an invention for a limited period of time (currently 20 years for utility patents in the U.S.). UTILITY patents cover a function or process, either mechanical, chemical or electrical. DESIGN patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.  PLANT patents pertain to the development of new plant characteristics. FOREIGN patents are issued by patent offices in other countries and may be obtained in addition to, or instead of, a U.S. patent. PATENT PENDING means a patent has been applied for but has not been issued yet. These patent applications are now searchable.

  • U.S. PATENT searching and is free through the U.S. Patent Database for 1790-present patents (for 1790-1975 only full image searches by patent number is available -and- for 1976-present full text is searchable by keyword). Patent applications searching is available as well (same website). U.S. patents are also searchable and available online for free at FreePatentsOnline. Access to patents from the Patent Office database is also available through GOOGLE which now has a search page specifically for patents.  See more options in the Patents Online tab.
  • INTERNATIONAL (FOREIGN) PATENT searching (and ordering) is available through the British Library with access to patent databases for Great Britain, European Countries (in native languages), Japan (Japanese with English abstracts), and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • NOTE: These may also be obtained directly from the pertinent patent offices or from commercial vendors.

  • Patent Print Documents. Publications in print from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office are available for manual searching. These documents are located in the Libraries Government Documents Department (MSL 1st floor). For a more detailed description of these documents and how to use them for searching, refer to the Patents - Print Sources tab.
  • Patent Websites

    Patent websites vary in coverage. Some only have full text or images for recent years. Some have better quality images than others. In some search engines, keywords only work on recent years. If you are doing a full, deep, and serious search, be sure to identify and search on the patent classifications as well as keywords.

    What's New

    Chemical Patents

    Looking for chemical patents?  Unless you have a trade name or patent number, they are very challenging to search in the traditional patent resources.  

    Subject Guide

    Profile Photo
    Amy Buhler
    Marston Science Library
    Rm. L209C

    Subject Guide

    Profile Photo
    Michelle Leonard
    Marston Science Library




    UF Libraries are not a patent depository library.
    Information provided on these patent and trademark pages is for general information purposes only. If you are seriously interested in obtaining a patent or trademark you should consult a patent attorney. Searches, especially keyword searches, are only preliminary and a patent attorney should be consulted for a thorough search.

    US Patent & Trademark Office Homepage | Patent general information | Fee schedule | Forms | Electronic Business Center | US attorneys and agents | Florida attorneys and agents

    University of Florida | Office of Technology Licensing UF faculty, staff and students needing patent information, working toward or applying for patents should consult this office.

    Florida Patent Depository Libraries | Broward County Main Library | Miami-Dade Public Library | University of Central Florida Library | University of South Florida Library

    Patent Depository Libraries | Listing

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