- The Library

Patents & registered designs

Patents Information

The following resources provide information about patents. Each database has its own strengths and its coverage will be widest for the first-named geographical area. Also listed are the web sites of national and continental patent offices.

For more information see: PG Skills Patents training session.


Searchable database of UK, European and world-wide patents. In addition, images of the paper publications are available back to 1920 for the UK, US, EPO, WIPO, France, Germany and Switzerland. Compiled and maintained by The European Patent Office. Video: Searching for patents using Espacenet.

Derwent Innovations Index

Hosted on the Web of Science. Search over 14 million inventions back to 1963.

USPTO's Global Patent Search Network (GPSN)

Search full text Chinese patent documents - original language and scans as well as machine translation into English (1985-2012).

SciFinder Scholar

Chemical Abstracts online - includes patent searching. Register for SciFinder now - training materials

Google Patents

Search US and European patents. Includes an Advanced Search.


This is a UK Patent Office resource which allows you to check the status of UK patents/patent applications.

Links to Patent Offices

Registered designs

The design of a product i.e. how it looks, its shape, arrangement of parts and any decoration can be protected too. Designs can cover specific items but also packaging, symbols and typefaces. By registering a design you can prevent others from copying and using it for up to 25 years, subject to renewal every 5 years. Designs can be registered with national (usually the patent office), regional or international design offices. The following tools enable you to search for and view registered designs.


Free online search for designs registered with participating national offices, WIPO and EUIPO, collated into a single platform with daily updates sent by individual offices. Useful for checking designs across Europe, the novelty of a design, avoid copying designs and check legal status of registered designs. All official EU languages are supported. Video: DesignView tutorial.

View Designs Journal

View details of UK designs registered with the IPO in the last 25 years.