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Patents, Trademarks, & Copyrights: Finding Patents - Key Sites


Migration to SciFinder-n beginning June 16, 2020

  • We will have both versions, SciFinder-N and SciFinder Classic. CAS has not yet set a sunset date for old SciFinder.
  • We don’t need to do anything different with our registration links. SciFinder accounts will work with both versions, even though SciFinder-N isn’t mentioned on the actual registration pages at CAS. You will need to transfer the "Keep Me Posted" alerts manually because they will not transfer over automatically.
  • Anyone who has a SciFinder account now can go to and login.

Updated: Mitchell Brown (June 9, 2020)   contact at

Finding U.S. Patents

* following title of the source or information product denotes that it restricts access to the UCI community.  For remote access, users will have to use the VPN.  These are basically search engines for patent & tradmark sources. 

See this excellent tutorial from the US Patent and Trademark Office on the patent search process.

Finding International Patents & Trademarks

How to Cite Patents

Citations to patents should include the "full" patent number that is searched and retrieved from within most databases.  It may include the country code of origin and the year of award or publication and the kind code.

The kind code (i.e. B1,A) should be included when provided or available because it notes the status of the patent at the time it was cited in a document. Kind Codes are generally added to the end of a patent or a patent application number and provide additional information on the status of the application or the patent.  They are usually 1 or 2 digits with the first being a Letter.  Patent applications are generally "A" documents and Patents are "B" documents.  There are US Kind Codes used until 2001, those used after 2001 and some for plant patents. 

There can be variations on patent names & titles depending on the source of origin.  Some databases are known to edit the patent name to make it more distinctive and easier to search.  A good habit is to use the patent name that is used on the PDF of the patent when including it in the citation, as it will be easiest to retrieve.

Citation Styles are usually straight-forward because of the numerical and chronological sequencing.  Examples of APA, MLA, NLM and the Chicago Style Manual are provided (acknowledging Patricia Kirkwood's compilation).

Subject Specific Patent Sources

Patents are richest in products that have specific applications such as medicine, chemicals, other specific materials. 




For INDUSTRIAL DESIGN - these databases may contain design registrations of a single country or a group of countries.  The USPTO is probably the largest of these databases.



It is increasingly common for drugs and biologically active chemical compounds to have been patented.  According to the ACS, more than half of all new chemical substances are disclosed first in patent applications and these resources identify patents that cover specific drugs and pharma-applications:


Liaison Librarian

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Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

Phone: 949-824-4971


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Updates & RSS Feeds

Numerous ways exist to learn about new patents, inventions and patent news.  Registering with any of these feeds or services will keep you informed.

USPTO Patent & Trademark Research Centers in Southern California

There are three Patent & Trademark Libraries in Southern California.  They are:

  1. The Los Angeles Public Library is a United States Patent & Trademark Office Depository Library.

    Located on Lower Level Two (LL2) of the Tom Bradley Wing: Department Map

    Phone: (213) 228-7200  |  Fax: (213) 228-7209  |  E-mail (form)

    The Science, Technology & Patents department has a collection of U.S. patents dating from 1790. It is the largest patent collection on the West Coast. The department carries British patents back to the 17th Century. The Library is a depository of U.S. Trademark information, and for the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. For more information, go to the Intellectual Property Information Section.
  2. UC Riverside Library - Orbach Science Library - Patent & Trademark Resource Center
  3. San Diego Public Library