Inventors and entrepreneurs who are looking forward to file a patent, the very first step is to conduct prior art searches. This is a wise first move to do search on your own by using different free patent databases. However, sometimes it happens that no relevant results are found in searches. That does not mean that no relevant document exists and might have been found. There are things that could and would be found by a professional searcher. However, it can be first good step for inventors to search on their own to familiarise themselves with the prior art.

Please check below some free patent databases which can be used by inventors for basic patent searches.

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Google Patent Search Google Patent Search database is good for initial search because when you start a search you cast a net very wide. As you start to want to look for specific things, perhaps in particular parts of patent applications, the Google tool is just not very useful.The most recent patents are not available on Google which means that you cannot only rely on Google, but you still must use Google.  The Google database covers patents that are issued all the way back to US Patent No. 1. This scope is much broader than either Free Patents or the USPTO. You may find some old references related to your invention.


USPTO The Patent search engine of USPTO searches about 240 million pages of text. It allows Full Text Searches.


Free Patents Online provides free access to all US patents and partial European data. It is also normally much faster than the USPTO site as well. It is easier to get PDF version of patents from Free Patents Online because everything here is well hyperlinked. So once you find a handful of relevant patents definitely go to Free Patents Online so you can easily jump back and forth and look at the patents that are cited in each relevant patent you find.  In other words, you can consider using the strengths of both the USPTO and Free Patents Online sites to make your searching easier.


WIPO PATENTSCOPE allows you to search 30 million patent documents including 2.2 million published international patent applications (PCT).


Esp@cenet Esp@cenet – Search engine of European Patent office (EPO) offers free access to more than 70 million patent documents worldwide, containing information about inventions and technical developments from 1836 to today.


J-PlatPat The Japan Platform for Patent Information (J-PlatPat) on the website of the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT) is a service to provide patent information for free of charge. Here, you can access patent abstracts in English.


Indian Granted Patents Search Engine Current version of search engine IPAIRS Version 2.0 is basically a structured search, i.e. interface providing pre-defined Indexed fields for searching in the database. This version has been improved over previous so as to provide:(i) Increased no. of fields (No. of Parameters for search are now 14)(ii) Combination of Search fields

(iii) Inclusion of operators

(iv) Distinct (non-repetitive) results

(v) Detailed information of Patents (01/01/1995 onwards)

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