Patent Information and Databases



Patent search

Classification systems


Data from the update to the eco-patent project, described in the following two papers (please cite if using the data):

Jorge Contreras, Bronwyn H. Hall, and Christian Helmers (2018), “Assessing the Effectiveness of the Eco-Patent Commons: A Post-mortem Analysis” (2018). Waterloo, Canada: CIGI Working Paper No. 16.

Bronwyn H. Hall and Christian Helmers (2013), “Innovation in clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 66(1): 33-51.


Eco-patents and controls, with legal status and patstat appln_id: data   description

Eco-patents and controls, with all the patents that cite them (through April 2017):  data   description


Data from the WIPO-INAPI Chilean pharmaceutical patent project. See the Appendix to Abud Sittler, María José, Bronwyn H. Hall, and Christian Helmers (2015), An Empirical Analysis of Primary and Secondary Pharmaceutical Patents in Chile, PLOS One and NBER Working Paper No. 20995 for information on the data construction. Please cite this paper if using the data.


All Chilean pharma patents applied for prior to 2011: data    description

A match of Chilean pharma patents to the ISP register: data    description


US Patents matched to CRSP 1926-2010 (from MIT and Indiana University researchers)


Documentation from the original NBER Patent Data Project


2006 edition of the NBER patent data  - GO HERE FIRST – this is the most up-to-date version of the NBER data that I know about. Further inquiries should be directed to Iain Cockburn at Boston University, not to me.


2006 NBER patent data – some additional files on my website


2002 Updates to NBER patent data. Unless otherwise noted, data files are in stata format version 6, 7, or 9, which are readable by stata or tsp. If you wish another format, I suggest you acquire stat/transfer, an excellent program that converts data files to and from a large variety of formats.


·         Documentation for NBER data

·         Data on patents issued 1963-2002 in stata 7 format     (updated 4 Dec 04 to add asscode and 2002 patent assignee number)

·         List of standardized 2002 patent assignee names corresponding to pat63_02 in stata 7 format

·         Citations for patents issued 1975-2002 in stata format

1999 NBER patent data files (Hall, Jaffe, and Trajtenberg 2002 version)


Match of EPO (European Patent Office) patent data to European firm data (including R&D data) by Grid Thoma

Newer version with a match to US firm data and trademark data


Match of Chinese patent data to firm names by Zilin He, Tony Tong, and Yuchen Zhang – this project is a match of SIPO patents to firms in China’s ASIE 1998-2009 (“the census data”). Utility, invention, and design patents are included in separate files. It covers the years 1998-2009.


Patent information at the UC Berkeley Libraries


News and information sites:


Yahoo! Government: Law: Intellectual Property: Patents

United States Patent and Trademark Office Home Page

Managing IP Newsletter

Patent blog of Dennis Crouch


Research websites:


European software patent study website

TIIP Newsletter on Innovation and IP


Patent search and data sites:


Harvard Business School project

Data on inventors from US patents, 1975-2010 with name disambiguation.


USPTO Patent Database search

Full text search for patents from 1976. Patents from 1790 through 1975 are searchable only by Issue Date, Patent Number, and Current US Classification.


Google bulk downloads

Up-to-date bulk downloads available for a large range of USPTO data – take a look.


Google patent search beta

Google Patent Search covers the entire collection of patents made available by the USPTO—from patents issued in the 1790s through those issued in the middle of 2006. “We don’t currently include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued over the last few months, but we look forward to expanding our coverage in the future.” BHH note: some patents appear to be missing (e.g., 3930271, issued Jan 6 1976, the first one in the computerized data base).

Free patent search that includes US patents and patent applications as well as Chinese (PRC) patents (both in Chinese and in English translation), the Prior Art publications in's own Prior Art Database, and IBM Redbooks.


Patent Genius – free online patent search

US patents issued from 1976; interesting technology categories


Free online patent search

US Patents issued from 1976; US Applications from 2001; European Patents from 2000


esp@cenet – EPO

The European Patent Office’s search site, which includes applications and grants from the EPO, WIPO, and worldwide. Note that you should use worldwide search (not EP search) for patents with an application date older than 24 months


Patent family data at INNO-Tec, LMU

Data provided by Dietmar Harhoff, which allocates each application (identified via the appln_id variable) in the PATSTAT triadic patent data (version April 2007) to exactly one group of patents with the same set of Paris Convention priorities. In principle this can be used to construct a consistent set of citation data that takes account of variations across patents in the offices that they cite. There is also very useful documentation available on this website.


OECD Patent Data


Japanese Patent Office Data from IIP

The new IIP Patent database, produced under the supervision of Akira Goto and Kazuyuki Motohashi. Data on 9 million applications and 2.7 million registrations (grants) from the early 20th century to January 2004. Includes citations and owner information.


Fee-based sites:


Lexis-Nexis (US patents from 1791)

INPADOC (Equivalents from EPO)

Delphion patent server home page

Derwent home page


Patent classification systems:


USPTO patent classification definitions

International patent classifications


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Last updated 27 February 2015 by Bronwyn H. Hall