Patent Searching For New Inventors - Searching By Patent Number

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Finding Patents By Searching With Patent Numbers

Searching By Patent Number
Searching By Patent Number.

Find the patent number of any invention and write it down.

HINT: The patent number may be found on the object, the box it came in, or in its instruction manual. You might read about an invention and be given its patent number. You will know it is a patent number because it will look something like this: U.S. 5,470,270. Some patent numbers may have letters in front of them. You can use the patent number I just gave you as an example for practice.

I soon will be sending you to do a real search on the Patent Number Search Page. However, cool your jets and read this step by step first.

The Patent Number Search Page will look something like the image above.

Note: The yellow box and the circle around the search button were added as instructions. The real search page will not have any such helpers.

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Fill In The Patent Number

Fill In The Patent Number
Fill In The Patent Number.

You will need to fill in a patent number in the query box. I have used patent number


as an example. Notice that I did not need to include U.S. since that is a country code. The USPTO database only searches for United States patents. You ignore country codes, however, some letters are very important.

My example 5,470,270 is a utility patent, which the majority of patents are. Utility patents need no special letters. If you are searching for a different kind of patent like a design patent, then you will need both a letter and a number. For example, design patent numbered 265,332 would be written D265,332 in the query box.

The Patent Number Search Page has examples of all the letters representing different kinds of patents. Don't worry about that right now. While you are learning we will be sticking with utility and design patents.

Note: The circle around the search button was added as instructions. The real search page will not have any such helpers.

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Click On The Search Button

Click on the search button
Click on the search button.

When you have entered the patent number, click on the search button. Yes I know it's obvious, however, this is a step by step.

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Results Page

Front page of patent number 5,470,270
Front page of patent number 5,470,270.

After pushing the search button, you will be sent to the patent page belonging to patent number you entered.

Above you can view the top part of the page belonging to my example, patent numbered 5,470,270.

Notice that same patent number 5,470,270 written on the right side of the page.

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Click On The Images Button

Click on the images button
Click on the images button to view high resolution images, patent drawinngs, or older patents.

When you click on the images button you will be able to view high resolution images of the patent.

This is the only place to view the patent drawings that often accompany a patent.

Any patent that has expired must be viewed by using the images button and that includes patents that are over a hundred years old.

You may need a special viewer to take a look at the images.

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Now Practice

Images Page
Images Page.

Above you can see the results on the "images" page for patent 5,470,270. One of the patent drawings belonging to that patent is being displayed.

Hint: I use InterneTiffX as my viewer.

Now It's Your Turn.

Try searching for the following patents by number on the

Patent Number Search Page


  • 2,026,082
  • 5,498,162
  • 4,490,419
  • D265,332
  • 5,865,438
  • 5,096,424
  • 4,367,243
  • 4,148,410


Type the number in correctly. Remember that there is a key for zero and the letter "O." If the patent needs a letter, make sure there was no space between the letter and the numbers.

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Patent Number Searching On The Advanced Search Page

Patent number searching on the advanced
Patent number searching on the advanced search page.

So far you have been using the Patent Number Search Page. You have to search by patent numbers a little differently if you are using the Advanced Search Page.

Above you can see an example of the Advanced Search Page.

I filled my example patent number 5,470,270 in the query box. However, since this is a page that allows you to search for a patent by: number, inventor's name, claims, title of invention, and many more ways. I had to fill in the query box using PN/5,470,270.

The PN stands for patent number and a backslash / is added before the number. Design patent D265,332 would be written PN/D265,332. These special codes tells the database if I am searching by number, inventor's name, title, etc. All the different codes are listed on the Advanced Search Page.

There is also a drop down menu box for selecting what years you want your search to cover.