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Patent databases and registers

19-03-2021

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.

The majority of the global technical innovative developments is described in patent literature. By searching patent literature, you can gain surprising information, such as information about what other people have already invented. 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 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

You can check whether your invention has already been invented in the worldwide online search system for patents, Espacenet. This database contains approximately 90 million patent documents in which technical inventions are described.

Dutch patent register

You can use the Dutch patent register in order to investigate 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, including 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

If you would like to know whether a patent is still valid in another country, please refer to the patent register of that country or telephone the national patent office of that country. You can find links to the websites of national patent offices on the website of the European Patent Office (EPO).