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Patents: A How-To-Find Guide

Information on locating full-text of patents granted worldwide.

Full-Text Availability

Researchers should be able to obtain full-text of most U.S. patents through either Google Patents or the USPTO website. Full-text of U.S. patent applications can also be found on the USPTO website, for applications granted since March of 2001. Some additional patents are available through Espacenet.

Patents that are not available through these resources may be obtained through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) at no cost to ISU faculty, staff, and students, or those with an ISU Visitor Card (some exceptions apply). Regular service is from 3-5 days. Some fees may apply. Please have the country and patent number available when requesting through ILL.

Plant patents are a bit different. The original paper version of the patent will show plant images in color; however, most websites only show a black & white scanned version with no color. If you need a plant patent and want the color version, visit the nearest patent depository library (in Iowa this is in the Davenport Public Library) or request a color scan through Interlibrary Loan.

Erin Thomas's picture
Erin Thomas
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University
515 294-9886