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Finding patent information: Espacenet

What is Espacenet?

Espacenet is probably the most comprehensive patent searching tool available for free. It is developed and provided by the EPO (European Patent Office). It can find more than 120 million patent documents from over 100 countries, their national and regional patent offices.

It provides UK, European and worldwide coverage back to 1836. Full images of documents for many countries are available in Espacent, back to 1920. If you need earlier documents, you can check with the patent office of origin. 

Espacenet: key strengths

  • Very broad and deep coverage.
  • Perhaps the best range of complete original documents in one free product
  • Advanced search in English, French and German
  • Select office/language for the Espacenet interface - 38 offices, multiple languages and countries
  • Machine translation:
    • Espacenet will translate from English, French and German into 28 other EU languages (and vice versa).

    • Espacenet will also translate Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Korean into English, and vice versa.

  • Legal events and status information 
  • Patent families, citing and cited patents
  • Claims tree - visualisation of the hierarchy of a patent's claims 

Espacenet interactive tutorial

Quick introduction to Espacenet