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Patent and Trademark Information


Patents contain an invaluable chronological record of information and provide a stimulus to further invention in every field which they cover. More than 7,000,000 patents have been issued by the United States government for mechanical, electrical, and chemical inventions; over 243,000 have been issued for design and plant inventions.

This guide will help you find general information on patents and trademarks. It will also enable you to identify and locate abstracts of most United States patents and trademarks.

The UC Berkeley Library has a complete collection of patent abstracts and trademarks for the United States, but only has the complete texts of U.S. patents (Specifications and Drawings), from 1874 to June 1911. Copies of chemical patents since 1952 are available on microfilm in the Chemistry Library (100 Hildebrand Hall). Copies of other patents may be obtained from the patent depository libraries listed below. The UC Berkeley Library maintains a collection of reference materials for U.S. patents and trademarks. General information and various indexes are available at the Doe Library's North Reading Room, Government Reference Collection.

The Doe Reference staff can assists individuals using various reference books for patent searching, but we do not perform patent searches or interpret patent law.

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Prior to 1836, patents were unnumbered and uncollected. Some 9,900 patents were issued between 1790 and 1836. When the numbering system began, a fire destroyed about 8,000 of the previously unnumbered patents, so only about 1,900 patents are now known of those previous 9,900. In 1871, the Patent Office began numbering the early patents and now call them the X-patents. The existing X-patents are available on the USPTO Web site. Lists of patents published between 1836 and 1871 were included in the Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Patents; from 1849 abstracts are included. For more detailed information on these early patents consult the introductory pages of the Finding List.

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There is no collection of foreign patents available to the public on the West Coast. Some foreign patent abstracts are available at Berkeley (until 1973). Copies of foreign patents may be ordered from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. or from various private organizations specializing in patents. General information on the patent activities of the European Communities and the World Intellectual Property Organization is available.

International Patent and Intellectual Property Sites


Historic Print Resources: Return to contents


There are several patent depository libraries in California. These libraries have complete texts of patents in addition to the general patent information and reference books found in the Library. Brochures from some of these libraries are available at the Doe Reference Desk. The three in northern California are:

San Francisco Public Library
Main Branch
Civic Center
San Francisco, CA
(415) 557-4400


Sunnyvale Public Library
665 W. Olive Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(408) 730-7809


California State Library
Government Publication Section
Library & Courts Building
P.O. Box 942837
Sacramento, CA 94237-0001
Collection begins with patent #3,226,729 (1966)

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General Information

Indexes, Manuals & Abstracts

Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Patents.(1994 to present)
T223 H2 MAIN [NRLF: 1841-1982/83 MAIN: 1993/94-1995/96, 1998/99].
News/Micro MICROFICHE 13487 (1986-1997)
From 1836-1845 contains lists of patents issued; from 1846-1871 includes abstracts and drawings. 1836-1900 in Congressional Serial Set
Finding List for United States Patent, Design, Trademark, Reissue, Label, Print, and Plant Patent Numbers.
T223 D7.R3 GREF
Gives the volume number of the Official Gazette in which a given patent number will be found for the years 1872-1993. Includes information on earlier patents.
Index of Trademarks issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
T223 V2.A32 MAIN 1927-1991.
MICROFICHE 26605, 1995-
An annual list of trademark registrants.
Index of patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
T223 D2 MAIN 1926-1990, 1991:2
MICROFICHE 27376 1991:1
An annual index to patents by patentee and classification number. Earlier indexes are in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents.
Index to the U.S. Patent Classification.
T223 F35 GREF
Gives the class and subclass number for each subject.
Manual of Classification.
T223 F35 GREF
Includes Classification Definitions by giving detailed definitions and illustrations of the kind of subject matter that can be found in each class and subclass, describing the lines of distinction among them and containing references to other classes and subclasses having related subject matter.
Official Gazette: Patents.
  • T223 A [at NRLF: v.1 (1872)-925(1974)]
  • Microfilm 2004 T Main [v.918 (1974)- 1162(May 1994)]
  • Microfiche 8305 Main [v.1066 (May 1986)-1274 (September 2003)]
  • Doe Reference T223.A23 compu/d [v.1261:1(Aug 6, 2002)-]
Contains abstracts and diagrams of patents and trademarks; also contains indexes by patentee and by classification for patents contained in each issue.
Official Gazette: Trademarks [Current five issues].
Specifications and Drawings of Patents.
T223 B MAIN NRLF. 1874-June 1911

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CD-ROM Sources

U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Cassis CD-ROM.
Patents BIB [Doe Reference T223.D7 P382 compu/d] and Patents CLASS [Doe Reference T223.D7 P384 compu/d] are useful for preliminary patent searches. The two differ in the time period covered and the amount of data available for searching. Patents BIB covers selected data from 1969; Patents CLASS is searchable from 1790.

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Internet Sources

Google Patent Search
Access over 7 million patents from 1790-2006. Does not currently include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued over the last few months. Includes tips for advanced patent searching.
Lexis-Nexis ® Academic UC Only
The file (Patent Research) listed in the category "Legal Research" includes full-text, without illustrations, of all patents from 1971 to present, searchable by title or keyword, and the Manual of Classification. It permits searching by patent or classification number.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
The PTO provides access to bibliographic and full-text patent databases. Coverage is from January 1, 1976 to the most recent weekly issue date. Full-page images date back to 1790. Hyperlinks are provided from the full-text document display to full-page images in G4 TIFF. Selected trademark information is also searchable.
Independent Inventor Resources Web Site
Patent and Trademark Office. Washington, DC, United States

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