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The Web-based Examiner Search Tool (WEST) is available through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Public Search Facility located in Alexandria, VA, along with the Examiner Automated Search Tool (EAST). Patent documents available via WEST include:
- Full document text may be searched on U.S. patents issued since 1971 and OCR text from 1920 to 1970.
- U. S. patent images from 1790 to the present may be retrieved for viewing or printing.
- Some foreign patent documents may be searched using EAST and WEST.
Access and Training
According to the USPTO website, "the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, VA is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m." Users should know that "SMART card ID badges are required to pass through security access checkpoints in the Public Search Facility," and these badges "are obtained from the USPTO Security Service Center in room 1C51 on the lobby level of the Madison East building at the Alexandria campus from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m." Users can sign up for a seven hour training course that covers "all basic text search features, from keyboard and Boolean logic to command functions and index searching." The training registration form is available here (PDF), and the training schedule is available on the USPTO website.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Public Search Facility." USPTO website, http://www.uspto.gov/products/library/search/. Accessed June 7, 2011.