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Patent databases and registers


It takes time and money to develop a product. It is important to know that you are not inventing something that already exists. Every patent granting authority has a register in which you can find the status of a patent.

Patent literature describes the majority of the global technical innovative developments. When you search for patent literature about what others have invented before, you may be in for a surprise. You search patent databases or registers to answer the following questions:

  • Is there a patent granted for a similar idea or product?
  • Is a patent still valid?
  • When can I use the technique described in the patent?

It is not easy to search in the database. That is why we can help you to search for patents in the databases and registers.

Here is an overview of all the patent databases and registers:

Patent database Espacenet

Check if your invention has been invented before in Espacenet, the worldwide online search system for patents. This database contains approximately 90 million patent documents describing technical inventions.

Dutch patent register

Use the Dutch patent register to see whether a patent is still valid in the Netherlands. This database contains information about published patent applications, patent rights and certificates in the Netherlands since 1912.

The European register

The European Patent Register contains all the publicly available information on European patent applications as they pass through the grant procedure. This includes oppositions, patent attorney/EPO correspondence and more.

Patent classifications

There are also some patent classifications, such as the International Patent Classification, IPC. And the more in-depth Cooperative Patent Classification, a European classification.

Other registers

Would you like to know if a patent is still valid in another country? Please refer to the patent register of that country or telephone the country's national patent office. For links to the websites of national patent offices, see the European Patent Office (EPO) website.

Your Europe

This webpage is part of Your Europe, an EU quality network. Let Your Europe know what you think of this page.

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