the latest news from the USPTO leadership

Public Patent Search Tool – a simplified way to search all patent applications published in the United States

Blog by Andrew Faile, Acting Commissioner of Patents, and Jamie Holcombe, Chief Information Officer

“The new search interface for Patent Public Search is really nice. We love to play with new features!

“The work you’ve done on the new public search system is top notch…it saves me a lot of time while improving the search results I’m able to get…Very impressive work.”

“I look forward to using this new tool for my future patent applications.”

As part of our ongoing efforts to modernize and streamline our systems, earlier this year we unveiled a brand new Patent Public Search Tool (PPUBS). PPUBS is a free online search tool for all US published patent applications and granted patents. Currently, approximately 4,500 users perform patent searches with PPUBS each day in the United States and around the world, and nearly 350,000 people have used PPUBS since its launch. Based on the success and positive feedback we’ve received on PPUBS – along with some sample testimonials listed above – it will officially replace our legacy systems in September.

With the launch of PPUBS, you can now remotely search the text of all published US patents and US pre-grant publications (PGPubs) in one streamlined system. Previously, to perform a similar search, you had to visit a USPTO facility such as our headquarters in Alexandria, a regional office, or a patent and trademark resource center. It also involved using one of four existing systems: the Public Examiner’s Automated Search Tool (PubEAST), the Public Web Examiner’s Search Tool (PubWEST), the Patent Full Text and Image Database (PatFT) and the Full Text and Patent Application Database Image Database (AppFT).

We have developed PPUBS based on the current internal tool used by patent examiners, Patents End to End Search (PE2E-Search). Some similar features include highlighting, efficient tagging, and advanced notes for searching, analyzing, and managing patent data.

Some additional benefits of PPUBS include:

Provisions: Multiple layouts and tools allow you to view more data at once and perform a more precise search.
Highlighting: Multicolored highlighting lets you easily sort and categorize your search results.
markup: Document tagging lets you group, rename, or color-code your search results, helping you better organize your data.
Remarks: more advanced notes allow you to include tags, relevant claims or other useful details.
Quality: Robust full-text search of US patents and published applications improves the quality of your search and provides better access to prior art.
Familiar friendliness: If you have used PubEAST and PubWEST before, you will find that PPUBS offers similar familiar search options.

We hold a number of regular training sessions on PPUBS – including webinars for novice researchers and advanced researchers. To see upcoming public training sessions, visit the events page of the USPTO website. We also offer training materials, quick reference guides, frequently asked questions and a help center on the Public Patent Search webpage.

Your feedback is important in helping us identify issues with PPUBS and determine what features we might want to add or improve. If you have any questions about the public patent search, please contact us. We are confident that the powerful and flexible new features of PPUBS will improve the overall patent search process. If you’re not already using it, we hope you try it soon!

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