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Worldwide patent database

20 September 2006
by eub2 -- last modified 20 September 2006

The worldwide database enables you to search for information about published patent applications from over 72 different countries and regions.


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It is based on the PCT minimum documentation , which is defined by WIPO as the minimum requirement for patent collections used to search for prior-art documents for the purpose of assessing novelty and inventiveness. The EPO has expanded the coverage of its internal database far beyond the PCT minimum documentation to include data from other countries and other time periods. Moreover, additional information, such as ECLA symbols and references to cited documents, is added to other fields by examiners in the course of their work.

Abstracts of non examined Japanese patent applications filed by Japanese applicants since October 1976 and all patent applications filed since 1998 which do not have a Japanese priority are available in the worldwide database since January 2005.
Due to the translation process from Japanese into English, these abstracts are not available until six months after publication.

In May2006, esp@cenet® held data on 54 million patents from 72 countries. A total of 28.8 million of these patents have a title, while 28.2 million have an ECLA class and 18 million an abstract in English.
Since February 2005, European and British applications are immediately made available on the day of publication.

The following table gives an overview of the availability of the PCT minimum documentation in the worldwide database:

Country Facsimiles from Abstracts from European Classification
CH 1888, from CH1 onwards 1970 1888
DE 1877, from DE1 onwards 1970 1877, from DE1 onwards
EP 1978, from EP1 onwards 1978 1978
FR 1900 1970 1902
GB 1859 1893 1859
US 1836, from US1 onwards 1970 1836, from US1 onwards
WO 1978 1978 1978



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Global patent data coverage
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For more information on patent searching, see the following pages:

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