This page contains information on patent search sites outside the US. This also covers patent searching and brief information on patent filing in countries other than the United States.
If you found this page but want information primarily for a US patent search go to Patent Search Online.
For a method of how to do a foreign (or US) patent search, also see Patent Search Online.
Reasons for Doing a Foreign Patent Search (when you are primarily a US patent filer)
From the standpoint of making a US patent search, a foreign patent search is done to discover prior art. When a foreign patent issued before your filing date, and was filed over a year before your US filing date, it is valid prior art.
After you have filed a patent in the US, initial responses from the US Patent Office may show you strong patentability. At this point you may decide that your invention is important enough to be sold in other countries. You may decide to file for patents in other countries to gain a monopoly there. This should be done only if you can anticipate sales of at least $500,000 in the foreign country being considered. If in doubt don’t file. It will be added expense that you may not recover.
Patent Search Sites Outside the United States
In addition to the several US patent search sites mentioned earlier in Patent Search Engines, there are patent search sites for many other countries worldwide. Countries with major patent databases are:
Canada patent search Canadian patents database
China patent search China Trademark Office
Europe European Patent Office EPO searching – 80 countries participate in EPO
Germany German Patent and Trademark Office DEPATIS
Gulf States - Patent Office of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf GCC Includes UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait
India Intellectual Property India IP
Japan Patent Office JPO
Korean Intellectual Property Office Korean IPO
Mexico patent search
Spain patent office Spanish Office of Patents and Trademarks
United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office
British Library British Library Patent Resources
World intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – a United Nations agency, 186 member states participate in WIPO
WIPO Gold Global IP Reference Resource
Patent Scope Data of 5MM patent applications.
PRIORsmART Free worldwide patent searching 75+ countries
How do you search and file for patents if you live in a country other than the US?
One of the broadest search engines is the Patent Scope, a site of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations. This database holds over 5 million patent applications from many countries.
In addition, you can search all the European Patent Office (EPO) databases by entering the EPO site and searching just the Worldwide and Japanese databases. This will cover Europe, United States and Japanese patents.
Also, you should search the patents of the patent office of country where you reside or intend to obtain a patent. See our Patent Search Online page for search methods.
Filing for a patent in a country outside the US
If you reside in a country outside the US and plan to apply for a patent, please note that the patent laws of other countries are not the same as those of the US. However, in Canada the patent laws and practice are mostly identical to those of the US. You will need to determine in which country or countries you plan to protect your invention. Then you’ll need to find out what procedures are necessary for application. Check Patent It Yourself, by David Pressman, for a discussion of this.