The entire collection U.S. Patents is available online from a variety of sources including the official United States Patent and Trademark office. Search the patent applications as well as the granted patents as the application process may take up to three years.
Online tools have improved the patent search process. However, conducting a thorough search of issued and pending patents remains a complex process which involves both keyword searching as well as classification searching.
In addition to the sources provided in this Guide, the central Milwaukee Public Library is a Patent and Trademark Depository Library and has tools and staff to assist with the process including a monthly Patents 101 workshop on doing a patent search.
Identifying and tracking down patents can be a complicated process. A variety of finding tools are available to aid in the process. The finding tools may also facilitate access to the full text. United States patents are available at no charge from a variety of sources. patents issued by other countries and governmental agencies may be available free of charge.