What Is A Patent Number? The Essential Guide To Patent Numbers

What Is A Patent Number?

You probably have heard of patents and patent numbers. But do you know what they are and why they matter?

In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about patent numbers and how they can reveal some juicy secrets about the inventions and innovations of the rich and famous.

What Is A Patent Number?
What Is A Patent Number?

What is a Patent?

A patent is a legal document that grants the owner the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention for a limited period of time.

A patent also discloses the invention to the public, so that others can learn from it and improve upon it.

Patents are issued by national or regional patent offices, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the European Patent Office (EPO).

What is a Patent Number?

A patent number is a unique identifier assigned by the patent office to each patent document.

A patent number may include up to eight characters and is formatted differently depending on the type and origin of the patent.

For example, a U.S. utility patent number consists of six, seven, or eight digits, while a U.S. design patent number starts with a letter D followed by seven digits.

A patent number helps to locate and retrieve a specific patent document from various databases and sources.

Why is a Patent Number Important?

A patent number is important for several reasons.

First, it allows you to search for and access the full text and images of the patent document, which can provide you with valuable information about the invention, such as its features, benefits, drawbacks, and applications.

Second, it allows you to track the status and history of the patent application, which can reveal the progress, challenges, and outcomes of the patent prosecution process.

Third, it allows you to identify the patent family and the related patents and applications, which can show you the scope, breadth, and depth of the invention and its variations.

Fourth, it allows you to find the patent citations and references, which can indicate the novelty, relevance, and impact of the invention and its prior art.

How to Find a Patent Number?

There are several ways to find a patent number, depending on what information you have and what you are looking for.

Here are some common methods:

  • If you know the name of the inventor, applicant, or assignee, you can use the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system¬†or the Patent Assignment Search website¬†to search for the patents or applications associated with them.
  • If you know the title or a keyword of the invention, you can use the Patent Public Search tool or the Global Dossier service to search for the patents or applications that match your query.
  • If you know the classification or the field of the invention, you can use the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) schema or the International Patent Classification (IPC) system to search for the patents or applications that belong to the same category.
  • If you know the publication date or the issue date of the patent, you can use the Patent Official Gazette or the Common Citation Document (CCD) service to search for the patents or applications that were published or issued on the same day.

How to Read a Patent Number?

Once you have found a patent number, you may wonder what it means and how to interpret it.

A patent number can tell you a lot about the patent document, such as its type, origin, and sequence.

Here are some tips on how to read a patent number:

  • Look at the length and format of the patent number. Different types of patents have different number formats, such as utility, design, plant, reissue, addition, improvement, X, H, and T patents. You can find the definitions and examples of these types on the USPTO website.
  • Look at the prefix or suffix of the patent number. Some patent numbers have letters or symbols before or after the digits, such as RE, PP, D, AI, B, C, E, P, S, U, and W. These letters or symbols indicate the kind code of the patent document, which describes the type and stage of the document. You can find the explanations and meanings of these kind codes on the Finnegan website.
  • Look at the country code of the patent number. Some patent numbers have two-letter codes at the beginning or the end of the number, such as US, EP, JP, CN, and WO. These codes indicate the country or region of origin of the patent document. You can find the list and map of these codes on the WIPO website.

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