Guide to Downloading Patent Copies (PDF, TIFF)

Update [2009.09.16].  After all these years this post still gets a lot of traffic.  Many of these services have come and gone so I thought I’d at least let my readers know what I am currently using (the rest of the Guide follows):

  • Google Patents — Allows you to download PDF copies for free.  Just look for the “Download PDF” button on the left side.  Google’s PDFs are nicely compressed…very small.
  • If Google doesn’t have it (Google is a little out of date), I use PatentFizz.
  • If I need a foreign patent, I first see if I can get it on esp@cenet.  Find the document, click on the “Mosaics” tab, then the “Save Full Document” link.

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The USPTO has never provided the ability to download multiple page TIFF or PDF copies of patents/patent applications.  Thankfully, a number of web sites and computer programs have stepped up to fill that void.

[last update:  September 16, 2009]

If you have additions (or corrections) to the list, let me know

I.  Web sites.

a. http://www.pat2pdf.com.  PDF.  Coverage:  US and European patents, US patent applications.

b.   http://www.pat2pdf.org.  PDF.  Coverage:  All issued US Patents.  Search interface:  patent number.  Can search multiple patent numbers at once.  Cost:  FREE.

c.   http://www.freepatentsonline.com.  PDF or TIFF.  Coverage:  US patents published by the USPTO since patent number 4,000,000.  Search interface:  boolean or patent number.  Cost:  FREE.

d. http://patents.oncloud8.com/.  PDF.  Coverage:  US and European patents.  Can download multiple patents as once. Search interface:  boolean or patent number.  Cost:  $0.25 per patent. Nor registration or minimum order required.

e. http://ofi.epoline.org/view/GetDossier?dosnum=&pubnum=&lang=EN.  Download PDF copies of PCT/EPO patents directly here.

f.   Patent Fetcher – offers patent publications in PDF format. Free U.S. patents and applications at http://free.patentfetcher.com (daily limit of 10 PDFs for free downloads). Foreign patent publications (EP, WO, DE, JP, etc.) as well as faster and unlimited downloads of U.S. patents and applications available from http://www.patentfetcher.com for $0.65 each.  All-you-can-eat subscriptions available too.

g. PatentGopher.  PDFs that are e-mailed to you.  Coverage:  US Patents, US Patent Applications, and many foreign patents.  Cost:  Patents of 10 pages or less will be delivered for just US$1, additional pages cost ten cents each.  [via Promote the Progress blog]

h. Asitri (M.I.T.).  Search for a patent by patent number, get web page with said patent’s abstract and basic information, along with abstract and basic information of its references, all with links to download copies of said patents by PDFs.  Interesting site.  Cost:  FREE.  [via Navigating the Patent Maze blog]

i.   Google Ok, so it won’t get you a PDF or TIFF copy of the patent, but did you know that you can use Google to go directly to an issued US patent via the USPTO database?  Example:  Google search for patent 6,698,104 and click on “Look up patent 6698104 in the US Patent Database”.  I previously blogged about this (and all of the other Google number searches) here.

j.  GetThePatent.  Files in “CPC” compressed format viewable in a free CPCLite viewer.  Cost:  $0.50 per patent.   Patents from the USPTO, EPO,  WIPO (PCT), Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland.

k. PatentMatic.  Free.  Enter patent number and it gives you a summary page with abstract and related patents and a link to download a PDF copy of the patent.  Coverage:  “European (EP), United States (US), ‘World’ (PCT/WO) and Japanese (JP) patents.

l.  PDFpatents.com.  Free (slow) or Register and pay as you go ($1/each or cheaper).

m.  BrainDex.  PDF copies.  Free.  US, PCT, EPO, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, Austria and others.

n. PatentReader.  Free.  PDF.  US-only.  Allows you to download multiple patent numbers at one time.

o.  One reader points out that “For some little while now esp@cenet (http://ep.espacenet.com/) has allowed downloading of full patent copies. When you have found the patent you want, click on the ‘original document’ tab, and you get an option ‘save full document’ in red.”

p. iFdIP “Search by just entering number and country code and get all available document types having said number. Download documents for free in PDF or several documents in ZIP. Coverage: world wide.”

q. ClearlyUnderstood.  Free.
US Patents and Published US Patent Applications.  After registering, multiple patents or published patent applications may by requested at the same time.  The PDF is provided with no extraneous text or marking placed on the copies.

r. PatentMonkey.com. Fully searchable US patent text database, Front page navigation with user-selectable Claims, Abstract or Description section in quick view window, Patent status is presented on each patent page so you know which ones are abandoned and expired, Create, save and share lists of patents (folders) with your colleagues via the web as well as on blogs, Download any single patent PDF for free or bulk download PDFs from a folder as a time saving upgrade.

s.  PatentMarvel.com.  ”The patentMarvel’s PDFinducer tool allows you to easily view and download US patents and published patent applications as PDF’s. Simply input the US patent number or US publication number and let patentMarvel do the rest. If you would like to create multiple PDF’s at one time just separate the numbers with semicolons.”  Free.

t.  Google Patents.  Free.

II.  Programs/Plug-Ins

a.  PAT2PDF.  If you don’t mind installing a “Linux-like environment for Windows” and doing some tinkering, you can configure a FREE package for downloading copies of patents to your computer using Canadian attorney Peter Eliopoulos’ instructions.  I have tried it and it does work.  Did I mention the word FREE?

b.  GETIPDL.  (http://www.ujihara.jp/GetIPDL/en/).  PDF, TIFF, MS WORD.  “GetIPDL downloads patent documents from JPO, USPTO, esp@cenet, DEPATISnet and other free patent document delivery sites. It can download texts and images. You can automatically get documents from the national IP servers in AU, CA, CN, DE, EP, JP, TH, US, WO from the official IP servers. Of course, it works to get the other region’s documents. And more, so GetIPDL supports automatic computer translation site of Patent & Utility Model Gazette DB in JPO, you can read recent Japanese patent documents in English from GetIPDL.  Cost:  $89.00.  This is the program I use.

c.  IPDISCOVER (http://www.ipdiscover.com).  IP-Discover has three main components (search, retrieve and browse).  Under search you can search the Internet using an integrated browser (IE?) window (patent searching (dropdown links to all of the various USPTO and EPO search pages) as well as, search engines, patent classification manuals and foreign patent offices).  Under retrieve, you can download copies of all of the patents you found in your search.  Under browse, you can view (within the browser) what you downloaded (including storing and organizing your old patent searches.  An excellent tool (if I didn’t already own a copy of GETIPDL…I might buy this one).  Cost:  $175.00 (you can demo for free an educational “lite” version of the software, the lite version can be used for free by students and non-profits).

d.  Accel ViewTIFF (http://www.acordex.com/browseProd/VTplugin.html).  A TIFF viewer plug-in that “will print or save entire documents in one operation without the need to manually retrieve and print/save each page.  Accel ViewTIFF now automatically detects page numbers in file names or in CGI query strings and presents page controls for multipage operations with TIFF documents stored as separate pages.”  Cost:  $49.  Windows and Mac.  Works well with the USPTO site…if you use a TIFF view with the USPTO site, this one might a great option for you (instead of pasting patent numbers into a separate program).  Of course the end product is a multi-page TIFF file…you could use a “print to PDF” printer driver to convert it to PDF if you really want a PDF.  15 day free trial.

e. freePatâ„¢ 0.81 for Windows.  From Peter Eliopoulos (Eliopoulous Intellectual Property Law – Canada) comes this free Windows program that can download US patents/applications, Canadian patents/application, European patents/applications, PCT applications, GB, FR and DE patents/applications to your computer as a single PDF file at no charge.  ~7MB file.

f.  PatentPleeze.  Worldwide patents, text and images together.  21 day trial.  $45.

g. PatSee (formerly known as Lattice).  Three versions -  Demo, Lite and Pro. More information including countries covered (looks like all on-line countries’ patent offices).  Cost:  £250.00 for 1 year, £400.00 for 2 years.  30 day demo available.

h.  ipMAGNET.  Patents from USPTO, ESP@CENET, DEPATIS and CIPO.  Cost $79.95+/yr.

i.   PatentGrabber [Mac Classic, Mac OS X and Windows].  Shareware ($20).  PDF or TIFF.  U.S. patents and published applications, European patents and published applications, and PCT published applications. [Via 271patent]

j.  The BTCI Patent Toolbar Version 2.2.  A plug-in for both Windows Explorer and Windows Internet Explorer.  USPTO, EPO, WIPO/WO PCT, Japanese patent abstracts, and European country patents (United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hellenic Republic, Luxembourg, Monaco, Slovenia, etc.).  It costs $99.  A 15 day free trial software is available.  The software can be installed via this LINK.  Contact BTCI@cox.net if you want more info before installing.

k.   PatentHunter.  Free trial version.  Subscription basis.  US version $69, International version $99.  PDF and HTML.  Seems to be a comprehensive searching program (not just a patent downloader).

l.  PatentOrder.  Patents: EPO, USPTO, DEPATISNET (“this German Patent Office service covers a variety of countries”), Canada, Australia, France, Spain, others. Single PDF via e-mail.  Free trial.   Price unknown.

m.  PatentPapers.com.  PDFs of US patents.  Two products, Patent Reader (free) and PatPDF ($59.95).

n.  “PatentVue (www.nfovea.com) is a USPTO/EPO Patent Search and Download application.  It offers an enhanced keyword search (boolean, multiple terms, date-based, etc), bulk patent number search/download, saved searches, delta-searches (patents and applications since the last time a search was run), local patent library facility, and easy interactive drill-down access to HTML versions of patents during the search process.  A free 30-day demo version is available from Cnet at www.download.com.  The demo version limits you to 5 Patent PDF downloads per day.  It can be upgraded to the full version to allow unlimited patent downloads for US $199.99.  PatentVue runs under W98/Win2000/WinXP and requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 and Adobe Acrobat Reader.”

o. PATmonitor. PDF or TIFF.  Coverage: USPTO, Esp@cenet®, epoline®, INPADOC, JPO, DEPATISnet, DPMApublikationen, DPINFO, and SIPO.  30-day free trial. Distributed in the US by LegalStar (maker of “IP LegalForm” and other IP software).  Cost:  $495 annual single user license fee or $1495 10 user annual license fee.

p.  Patent Search Software.  Via Indian patent firm Parker & Parker.  Stand alone program.  Free.  Allows you to search patents from the USPTO Issued and Published Patents, and EUROPEAN Patents Database…by entering one word in any of the field of software you can search in all three places.  Pretty nice program.

q.  “WizPatent.  With an Outlook like interface, this easy to use desktop application has more functionalities than any of the other patent download software.  Search USPTO, ESPACE, WIPO, Japan databases for patents and download the Text, PDF for FREE.  Robust patent document management tools.  Allows you to add annotations to your patent collections.  Claims Analysis. Links to PAIR. Search your patent collection. Group by Inventors, Assignee, Year etc..  $675/yr.”

r.  BrainDex Patent Downloader.  Gives you the ability to “right-click” on a patent number and download the corresponding PDF patent copy.  $39.95.  Free trial available.

s. poxoq for patents. Free download (PDF) of more than 45 million documents from the Open Patent Services (web service) of the European Patent Office.

III.   Related Guides:

a.    Robert Ambrogi’s article on on-line patent and trademark searching resources.

b.    Dennis Crouch’s article on how to find intellectual property law news.

c.    The Spire Projects page on Searching Patents.

IV.   Patent Searching Resources/Tools.

a.   Patent Search Software.  Via Indian patent firm Parker & Parker.  Stand alone program.  Free.  Allows you to search patents from the USPTO Issued and Published Patents, and EUROPEAN Patents Database…by entering one word in any of the field of software you can search in all three places.  Pretty nice program.

b.  ClassClarify.  A software tool designed to aid researchers in using the USPTO’s Manual of Classification, the tool examiners use to categorize patents. ClassClarify graphically represents the manual and the relationships amongst the classes, it’s like a road map through the vast landscape of prior art. Use it to understand how examiners and industry analysts research prior art, and to perfect your searching skills.

c.  Citation Bridge.  “A free search utility lets you look up forward and backward U.S. Patent Citations (also called U.S. Patent References) on an individual patent and search back and forth through citation generations. Find out who’s citing your patents and whom your patents are citing.”

d.  PatTools.com’s tools:

  1. Claim Chart Generator (for issued patents and patent applications)
  2. Patent Navigator–“This tool automatically creates a web page containing a patent and provides options to view the entire patent or to view only portions of a patent.”
  3. Independent Claim Comparison Chart Generator
  4. Claim Tree Generator
  5. Patent Information Table Generator–”This tool creates a table of various information fields for multiple
    patents.”
  6. Patent-to-PDF Generator
  7. USPTO Patent Link Generator
  8. Search Assignment Tool
  9. Patent Summary –”This tool automatically creates a web page containing high-level patent information for any number of supplied patents.”

e.    Aspator:  Patent Study Tool.  Produced by a Hong Kong government owned non-profit research institute.  Plug-in for FireFox (Windows).  Allows you to read and print out abstracts, claims, drawings and bibiliographies of all the patents searched on a single page.  Their web page includes ascreenshot and video clip demonstration.

f.    PatentPrism.  A “time-saving, efficient and user-friendly desktop interface for professional level on-line patent searching, analysis, tracking and reporting, using publicly accessible electronic databases provided by national and international patent authorities (primary on-line databases), while also providing electronic reports suitable for distribution, presentation, and “live” record-keeping. PatentPrism dramatically enhances the accessibility of these databases relative to conventional on-line searching, while reducing on-line connection time and overall search time, maintaining your search information on your local computer. Depending on your needs, PatentPrism’s unique features can rival or surpass those of high access-cost commercial databases.”

V.   Litigation

VI.   Notes:

a.    A reader reminds us that “As you probably know, the USPTO sets a limit on how many patents one can download in a given time.  Some years ago they blocked me because I exceeded their quota.  I assume that this policy is still in effect, although I haven’t checked it.  If it is, you may wish to caution your readers.”

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