Intellectual Property Resources in Print and on Microfilm

Official U.S. Patent Office Publications

Document Coverage
U.S. Patent Specifications and Drawings 1790 to date
U.S. Design Patents 1842 to date
U.S. Plant Patents - microfiche 1931 to date
U.S. Plant Patents - paper 1978 to date
U.S. Official Gazette 1872 to date
Index to U.S. Patent Classification Latest
Manual of Classification Latest
Classification Definitions Revised to date
Classification Listings 1790 to date
Annual Index of Patents and Annual Report of the Commissioner 1790 to date
Manual of Patent Examining Procedure Latest
35 USC-Patents, Laws Latest in Social Sciences Department
37 CFR-Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights Latest in Social Sciences Department
Patent Attorneys and Agents Registered Latest
Patents Throughout the World Latest

International Patent Documents

Document Coverage
Canadian Patents Abstracts 1911 to 1983, 1986 to 1999
European Patent Office Documents 1979 to 1994
Federal Repository of Germany Patents 1975 to 1994
Federal Repository of Germany Applications 1983 to 1994
France 1975 to 1994
United Kingdom Old Law Patents 1617 to 1981
United Kingdom New Law Applications 1979 to 1994

Publications About Trademarks

Document Coverage
Directory of U.S. Trademarks 1985 to date
Trademark Register 1986 to date
Annual Index of Trademarks 1927 to date
Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure Latest
15 USC-Trademarks Latest in Social Sciences Deptartment
37 CFR-Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights Latest in Social Sciences Deptartment
Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases Revised to date
Trademarks Throughout the World Revised to date
Trademark Reporter 1911 to date

U.S. Copyright Office Publications

Document Coverage
Catalog of Copyright Entries 1871 to latest
Copyright Circulars Latest
Copyright Decisions 1789 to latest
17 USC-Copyrights, Laws Latest in Social Sciences Department

Publications about International Copyrights

Document Coverage
Copyright Laws and Treaties Revised to date
Copyright Bulletin (UNESCO) 1953 to date

Finding the patent class and subclass using print collections

  1. Index to the U.S. Patent Classification System (ask for at Patents Desk): This is an alphabetical subject index to the Manual of Classification. Look up your invention using common terms describing its function, effect, end-product, structure, or use. Try to avoid brand names. Write down all relevant class and subclass numbers. Especially note if a subclass number has a "+" after it.
  2. Manual of Classification (ask for at Patents Desk): This is a large two-volume set. Look up your class/subclass numbers in these books. The subclass numbers are not necessarily listed in numerical order. Take special notice of the dot indent. Revise your search strategy as needed.
  3. Classification Definitions (Search classifications through USPTO). Read these definitions to establish the scope of classes and subclasses. These often provide search notes and suggestions for further search. Design classes do not have definitions.

Finding the patents using print collections

  • Once you have identified the relevant classes and subclasses, obtain a list of all patent numbers granted from 1790 to the present and all published applications from 2001 to the present for every class and subclass to be searched.
  • The Official Gazette (Blue volumes on tall shelves near the Patents Desk) Starting in 1872, the Patent Office has published a weekly compilation of all patents issued. Take your list of patent numbers and check them against the summaries of the patents contained in the Official Gazettes. Take special note of inventions that you may wish to see more information about. The Official Gazette contains one drawing and one claim for every patent. Most patents will have 7 digit numbers; these are utility patents. Others will be 6 digits and be proceeded by a "D". These are design patents. Go to the volume of the Official Gazette that has the corresponding number listed on the spine. The most recent volumes are paperback.