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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


United States



When you are searching for patents, select the tool you would like to use. Each has advantages and disadvantages so to a certain degree it is about personal preference.

Understanding the information that is within specific fields of patents can be useful when searching.Sample Patent Front Page with Code Descriptions

10-Document Number - The number assigned to a published/approved patent, prefixed with an alpha-country code (e.g., United States is US).

12-Document Type - (Patent)

21-Application Number

22-Date of Application

45-Date of Patent

51-IPC Classification

52-National Classification: The main classification, H04M 1/0235, is the code for slidable or telescoping telephones.

54-Title of Invention: Limited to 500 characters or less.

56-References: U.S. and foreign patent documents and other publications cited as related prior art by the inventor and patent examiner.

57-Abstract: A brief, non-technical description of the invention.

58-Field of search: Classifications consulted by the patent examiner during the prior art search.

60-Number and date of provisional application

63-Number and date of the continuation application

65-Number and date of previously published application

71-Applicant: The person, company or organization that filed the application.


73-Assignee: Owner at the time the patent issued. The assignee can be a person, company or organization.

74-Patent attorney, agent or firm: Patent professional hired by the inventor to prosecute the application.

Often when you are searching for patents you are trying to determine if anyone else has invented your product or to determine what else has been done. Most likely you are doing a keyword search. Keyword searching can provide a lot of false hits. To think of keywords think of:

  • What is the function? Is it a product or process?
  • How will the invention be used?
  • What is the stucture of the invention?

Typically it is best to avoid terms such as device as well as trademarks or product names (because these are often not included in the patent application).



If you need any help, just ask me.

Subjects: Engineering