Patents are an exclusive right granted to an invention. This can be a product, process, or method that is new or improves on an existing solution. The patent issue depends on whether the invention is useful, novel and non-obvious. In order to obtain a patent, the public must have access to technical information regarding the invention in a patent application. As a patent owner, you prevent others from commercially exploiting the invention.

It is advisable to search for a patent prior to proceeding. If you don’t, it could prove costly to invest in time, money, and energy only to lose a license or face litigation from patent infringement. A patent search is used to determine whether an invention is patentable. And one way to do a patent search is by using a patent number for existing patents.

What is a Patent Number?

A patent number is a unique identifier assigned to a patent or an application once it has been granted. It typically appears at the top right-hand corner of a patent document.

A patent document’s number consists of three parts:

  • Country code.
  • Patent number.
  • Kind code.

Country codes identify the country of origin of the patent or application. Common country codes are Japan (JP), Germany (DE), the European Patent Office, Canada (CA), and the United States (US). In the United States, issued patents begin with “US.” That is followed by the one-to-seven-digit.  Lastly, we have a patent’s kind code which indicates the type of patent the patent issued or applied is. “A” for a published application, and “B” for an issued patent. Each part is separated by a hyphen. For example, a U.S. Design patent number starts with a “D” or the letters “Des.” For example of a patent number US 9,107,586 B2

How to Locate a Patent Document using a Patent Number

It is easiest to find a patent document in a database by its publication or patent number. it is usually located in the upper right corner of the patent document’s front page. One or more numbers can identify patent documents, such as:

  • The provisional number for a U.S. application: this number is assigned to a U.S. provisional application when it’s filed.
  • Application Number: The number that is assigned to a patent application upon filing.
  • Publication Number: The number that is assigned to a patent application when it is published 18 months after its filing.
  • Patent number: The number that is assigned to a patent when its application is granted.

Importance of Patent Number

Patent numbers indicate that a patent has been issued. As a Patent holder, you can prevent others from copying, selling, or manufacturing without your permission.

Anyone doing a patent search will also find value in patent numbers. You can search for the details of a patent by using a patent number.

A patent application number search can also be useful if your product is similar to an existing patent. By doing a prior art search, you can determine whether or not there are other patents affecting the product you are seeking to patent.

Patent number searches are when you search for a particular patent by using its assigned number. This type of search requires that you know the patent number. This number can also be found on the packaging of commercial products. Once you have identified the patent numbers you wish to search for, then you will need to access an internet patent database to enter them.

It is crucial to consult a patent attorney before investing in any patent applications. To ensure there are no blocking patents, this should include an examination of known references using a patent number search.

Sometimes, inventors invent a product that is already patented. You can better understand the protection available for your invention by doing a patent number search. This will help you understand where you should file your patent applications, and whether or not you need to take steps to prevent possible infringements of already existing patents.

How to search for a Patent Number

A patent number can be obtained by searching through the USPTO’s PatFT database.

PatFT includes full-text records of patents from 1976 to the present. You can also find images of older patents. To search for older patents, however, you will need to know their patent number or class.  To find a patent number in the US you will need to; enter all information about the patent to search this database. You can include:

  1. Name of the patent holder
  2. Inventor’s name(s)
  3. Keywords that are related to the invention
  4. One Boolean operator

Select the type of information that you want to search for. Key in the year range that you wish to search and lastly click “Search.”

You can also find international patent numbers easily through the USPTO publication, the Cooperative Patent Classification. There are approximately 490 patent classifications. It is recommended that you look up the patent classification of the type of patent you are looking for. This will allow you to narrow down your search.

If you don’t know the name of the inventor, you can check the patent database with Google. Google Patents has an index of scanned patent documents dating back to 1791. Search for a particular term in the search box and it will return results from all patents issued in that year or month. Afterward, you can narrow down your search by selecting the specific classification of the patent and finding it.

To look up for the patent number, you should first determine whether the document is issued or a patent pending application.

A patent number search can help you understand what type of protection your patent provides and where to file your patent application. A patent application number search can also be useful if your product is similar to an existing patent. By doing a prior art search, you can determine whether or not there are other patents affecting the product you are seeking to patent.

Using a patent number to identify a patent

You can find the patent number of a product on its packaging, or it may be found on a product’s label. It can be difficult to find, but it is possible to retrieve the patent copy using the number. Some companies also print patent numbers on their products, making it easy to search the database and obtain a copy. In addition to finding the patent number, you may also be able to determine the name of the company that issued the product, since a distributor may not be the manufacturer.

Once you have the patent number, you can perform a search in the USPTO Full-Text Patent and Image Database. The database lists all patents issued between 1790 and 1975. Patents issued after this date list the invention’s patent number, as well as the issue date. The database also shows a photo and text description of the invention.

You can also look for the patent’s title. Some patents were issued with vague titles, while others have more specific names. The full name of the inventor may also be listed along with his or her address. If you have an idea for a new product, you’ll want to identify the company that invented it. You can use the patent number to find a manufacturer. This can be a valuable tool in your search.

Using a patent number to identify a company

If you can’t find the company’s name, you can use the patent number to perform an advanced search. Look out for a patent number printed on the packaging or product. As public notice of their patent rights, many companies include patent numbers on products. To search for and retrieve a copy from a patent database, use the patent number.

In most instances patent registration occurs before the product is ever sold. Thus, the patent number is associated with the product long before the company even names it. It is possible that the same technology may be used in dozens of different products, each with a different name. When companies are unsure about the validity of a specific patent, they use the patent number to publicize their rights. They also include the patent number on their manuals and products so that consumers know they have a patent on the product.

What Information Can I Find With a Patent Number?

After you find a patent associated with a patent number, you will be able to view all information within the patent. This includes:

1. Inventors Name

This is located on the front of the patent document. It contains important legal information about the patent, such as The patent owner, the place where the patent was filed, the publication date, as well as the title and abstract of the invention (summary of the invention with a drawing, chemical formula, or none depending on what field of Technology) are all listed on the front page of the patent document.

2. Patent issue date

This is the date on which the patent was issued. This date is used for the calculation of the maintenance fees required to keep the patent valid.

3. Title of the invention

The title of the invention is placed at the top of the first page of the specification unless it is provided in the application data sheet. The title is brief but technically accurate and descriptive and contains fewer than 500 characters.

4. filing date

The priority date of patent applications may be the filing date. This assumes that the invention date is the filing date. The priority date can be the same as the filing day of the application. However, the priority date could be one year earlier if it relies on an earlier U.S. provisional filing or a filing of an earlier foreign patent application, which was filed within one year.

5. Detailed description

This detailed description of the invention provides enough information to allow an ordinary person of skill in art to use the invention without any experimentation. (MPEP 608.01(g)). This requirement ensures the public can use the invention even after the expiration of the patent term.

6. Drawings

Drawings include illustrations, charts, and other visual aids that can be used to explain the invention. The specification includes detailed information about the drawings, including a discussion of their numbering. Drawings are required when the invention’s nature requires them.

7. patent Claims

Patent claims have an important legal function: They define the protection of inventions. They distinguish the prior art and the new technology, as defined by the inventions.

Now over to you

PatentPC is a team of professionals who are proficient in handling patent-related matters. If you need help with patent search and a reliable company to file a well-formatted patent application look no further. To know more about our services you can click here to get in touch with us.