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PATENTSCOPE® is a free search service offered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It includes many national patent collections, including some rare coverage.


Major Recent Updates

August 2013

According to a press release on the WIPO website:[1]

The patent collections of Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have recently been published on WIPO’s global patent search system PATENTSCOPE. The three collections are available in both Arabic and English for the bibliographic data; the full description will be added shortly.

April 2013

According to the April 2013 Issue of the PCT Newsletter, PATENTSCOPE now includes a collection of US patent documents:[2]

The PATENTSCOPE search system now includes the national patent data of the United States of America, with more than 10 million records dating from 1790 to the present day. This has expanded WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE collection to over 28 million searchable patent documents. The collection, which also includes over 2.2 million published PCT applications, is available here.

This brings to 30 the number of national or regional patent Offices whose data is available in the PATENTSCOPE search system. Detailed information about data coverage for each Office can also be found at the above‑mentioned web page in the “Help” menu.

August 2012

Japanese national patent data from January 1993 to present is now available on PATENTSCOPE. The collection will be updated weekly.[3]

May 2012

Machine translations are available in PATENTSCOPE. Default translations originate from Google Translate, but alternate machine translation tools such as Microsoft Translator are also available.

IPC tooltips are now available to display classification information.[4]

April 2012

Four main improvements have been made to the PATENTSCOPE system, in addition to migration to the latest major version of the LUCENE search engine:[5]

  • Response time has been improved
  • The NEAR operator has been extended to allow combination with other Boolean operators, and proximity distance can now be specified.
  • Improved highlighting including hit maps, stemming, and fuzzy searching support.
  • A Display of Query trees function automatically executes subsections of search strings and generates a statistical breakdown.

February 2012

Three new PCT Backfile products now available.[6]

  • The PCT Backfile Asian Languages containing full-text description and claims (OCR output) for International Applications published in Chinese, Japanese and Korean from 1978 to preceding year.
  • The PCT Backfile XML containing International Applications field in XML format in all PCT languages from 1978 to preceding year (XML format).
  • The PCT Backfile Bibliographic containing a snapshot in XML of the PCT bibliographic data contained in the PATENTSCOPE database.

Users can now choose to search for PCT applications that have been earmarked by the applicant with licensing availability metadata.[7]

January 2012

Dutch, Italian and Swedish are now available in beta mode in CLIR (Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval), the multilingual tool of the PATENTSCOPE search system.[8]

September 2011

The PATENTSCOPE Search Service now includes the national patent collection of Kenya.[9]

April 2011

"Searching by keyword in the descriptions and claims of patents written in Chinese, Korean, Russian or Portuguese is now possible in PATENTSCOPE without prior knowledge of these languages."[10]

"PATENTSCOPE Search Service now includes the national patent collection of the Dominican Republic."[11]

March 2011

"Around 30,000 applications in Chinese from 1994 to 2011 and around 170'000applications in Japanese from 1979 to June 2008 are now searchable in addition to already searchable JP full-text XML applications. Furthermore, searchable descriptions and claims of applications in Korean and Portuguese are also available."[12]

"In the framework of the integration of the LATIPAT collection in the PATENTSCOPE search service, data from the following countries are now available: Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.[13]

A machine translation tool "developed in-house at WIPO uses Moses open-source technology" and "allows users to translate the titles and abstracts of inventions from English to French and Chinese and vice versa."[14]

February 2011

PATENTSCOPE now offers a search interface in Korean.[15]

"The European Patent Office (EPO) patent collection is now searchable in PATENTSCOPE ® search system. More specifically the bibliographic data from 1978 to mid 2010 and the full text from 1996 to mid 2010 of the EPO collection are now available for search."[16]

January 2011

PATENTSCOPE now offers search interfaces in Spanish.[17] and Russian.[18]

PATENTSCOPE "now includes the national patent collections of Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Uruguay."[19]

December 2010

WIPO announced that PATENTSCOPE now offers a Japanese-language interface for its “Search International and National Patent Collections” page. The interface language for this page can be changed by selecting a new language from the "options" menu. Other available languages include Chinese, English, French, and German. For the original source of this news see the press release here.

November 2010

WIPO announced that Brazilian patent data had been added to its national collections search. At the time of this collection's introduction, Brazilian bibliographic data was available from 1972, and abstracts from mid-1989. Almost 150,000 OCR full text records were also available in the collection, although an earliest date of coverage for full text records was not provided. A minimal number of records were available as PDF facsimile images.[20]

Collections for Argentina (AR), Morocco (MC), Spain (ES) and Singapore (SG) were also added to the system.

August 2010

WIPO announced a better integration of Google Translate into PATENTSCOPE, allowing users to produce machine translations of patent descriptions and claims on-the-fly. All supported language pairs normally in Google Translate are available.[21]

May 2010

WIPO introduced a new cross-lingual search query generating tool to the PATENTSCOPE interface, which they have termed the "Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval (CLIR) facility." The tool uses a number of cross-lingual dictionaries built in house by WIPO to generate keyword queries in other languages. The language dictionaries are built by using correlation methods between languages from WIPO's corpus of patent documents. The tool also uses a technology discipline filter to help ensure that the meaning of the desired synonym is clear to the system, disambiguating among polysemic meanings. To further ensure that only desired meanings of a word are searched, the tool also generates a basic set of main IPC classes to be included in the search string.

The tool generates cross-lingual search queries in English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. Two additional dictionaries are in development for Chinese and Portuguese searching, but the dictionaries for these languages are not yet based on a large enough document set to give them an acceptably low error rate.

The CLIR tool can be accessed here.

For more information about this tool, see the Intellogist blog post on the subject, here. Further resources are available from the WIPO website at this page, and a brief tutorial is available here.

Data Coverage

PATENTSCOPE National Collections

As of November 2010, PATENTSCOPE's searchable national patent collections include the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Argentina (AR), Brazil (BR), Cuba (CU), Israel (IL), Mexico (MX), Morocco (MC), Republic of Korea (KR), Singapore (SG), South Africa (ZA), Spain (ES) and Vietnam (VN). These collections were developed jointly by WIPO and the national patent offices, under a WIPO initiative to help countries with developing IP offices produce electronic collections.

National Phase Entry Data Coverage

PATENTSCOPE currently offers national phase coverage for 43 countries and authorities. The complete coverage list is available here. As of December 2009, the latest additions to PATENTSCOPE's coverage are the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Belarus, Hungary, Malaysia and the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO).[22]

The International Application Search Interface

The International Applications search service offers full text searching of its collection of Patent Cooperation treaty (WO/PCT) applications, and supports searching in both Latin and non-Latin text languages. The service currently supports full-text data search in the following languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

The International Application Search Interface.

Some of the data in PATENTSCOPE may have been created electronically, while other information has been digitized to create searchable text. The following statement from the July 2009 PCT newsletter provides further information: " the case of those languages which use Latin characters (English, French, German and Spanish), where the original text is not in XML format, the searchable text format is obtained by applying Optical Character Recognition (OCR) procedures to the scanned images of the document."[23]

The National Patent Collections Search Interface

In September of 2009, a new patent search service was launched by WIPO for testing. This service allows users to perform free searches within national patent collections gathered by WIPO. A press release for the new service stated the following:

This new search tool, now available for public testing, allows you not only to search the PCT database of about 1.6 million International Applications but also the patent collections of ARIPO, Cuba, Israel, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa and Vietnam. This search facility features: flexible search syntax; automatic word stemming and relevance ranking; as well as graphical results.[24]

In September of 2009, a press release from WIPO stated that an agreement had been reached with the Kenyan government to digitize their patent documents, and disseminate them via PATENTSCOPE. However, a timetable for this project was not given. The article also stated that similar projects may be planned for Brazil, Peru, and Morocco, in addition to the collections already mentioned. [25] As of December 2009, PATENTSCOPE has added national phase information for the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Belarus, Hungary, Malaysia and the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO).[26]

The National Patent Collections Search Interface.

The service is notable for its extensive settings page, where users can control both the query input language and the interface language, in addition to a host of other display-related settings. There is even an option to control the "skin" or color scheme of the application.

Options page where users can control search parameters for the National Patent Collections Search Interface.

After searching, it becomes apparent that one unique feature of the service is the way that results can be represented. A number of statistical measures are shown for the results sets, and these can be displayed as tables, bar graphs, or pie charts.

Default "table" results page for the National Patent Collections Search Interface.

One display option for National Patent Collections Search Interface results, "bar graph." The other option is "pie graph."


  1. "National collection of Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates now available." WIPO website, Accessed August 31, 2013.
  2. "National patent collections: United States of America." WIPO website, Accessed on April 26, 2013.
  3. "National collection of Japan now available." WIPO website, Accessed on August 1, 2012.
  4. "Machine translation and IPC codes in the PATENTSCOPE search system." WIPO website, Accessed May 21, 2012.
  5. "PATENTSCOPE: latest developments." WIPO website, Accessed May 21, 2012.
  6. "Three new PCT Backfile products now available." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2012.
  7. "PCT Licensing Feature." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2012.
  8. "Three new languages available in CLIR." WIPO website, Accessed May 21, 2012.
  9. "National collection of Kenya now available." WIPO website, Accessed September 30, 2011.
  10. "CLIR launches an attack on the Tower of Babel." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  11. "National collection of the Dominican Republic now available." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  12. "Description & claims now searchable in Chinese and Japanese." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  13. "LATIPAT Data." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  14. "A new machine translation tool is now available in PATENTSCOPE." WIPO website,
  15. "PATENTSCOPE® search interface in Korean." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  16. "EPO collection now available." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  17. "PATENTSCOPE® search interface in Spanish." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  18. "PATENTSCOPE® search interface in Russian." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  19. "New national collections now available." WIPO website, Accessed May 12, 2011.
  20. "National collection of Brazil now available." WIPO News Bulletin, WIPO website, Accessed on November 08, 2010.
  21. "Machine translation of descriptions and claims of patent documents within PATENTSCOPE®." WIPO website, Accessed on August 23, 2010.
  22. "Did You Know That PCT national-phase entry information for Malaysia has now been added to WIPO's PATENTSCOPE® Search Service?" East Meets West. (link no longer available). Accessed January 5, 2010.
  23. PCT Newsletter. July/August 2009. Accessed on July 13, 2009.
  24. "National & PCT Collections: new search tool available for public testing." Posted September 17, 2009. WIPO website, Accessed on September 18, 2009.
  25. "WIPO and Kenya to Intensify Collaboration on Patent Information" Posted September 22, 2009. WIPO website, Accessed on September 30, 2009.
  26. "Offices for which PCT national phase information is available in PATENTSCOPE® Search Service." WIPO website, Accessed on December 22, 2009.

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