February 22, 2005

Free patents online

I don't usually duplicate either Randy's or Catherine's posts, never mind something they've both posted on, but I think this one is important enough, if only to serve as a reminder to myself what to do next time I get someone looking for a patent full text.

The Free Patents Online site is very good at giving full text of US patents since #4,000,000 (mid-1970's) and in PDF to boot. No fiddling with huge TIFF files -- never mind that our computing department can't seem to get any TIFF readers installed here (don't ask). There is a problem with very new patents, as there is a delay before they're loaded in the database. A search on "cell phone" returned a lot of hits, but the first 25 or so weren't there in full text. It sends you back to the USPTO site. As of today, the publication date of the most recent patent is February 15, 2005. Not too bad, when you think of it.

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