Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Company Research: Intellectual Property

Company Patents

Patents offer insight into a company’s 

  • innovative culture
  • business opportunties
  • research and development direction
  • market expansion plans. Number of foreign filings might indicate the patent’s importance and identify a company’s target markets.

 Tips for locating company patents

  • The owner of the patent, an individual or entity, will be listed in the assignee or applicant field.
  • Companies or employers are not always the assignees.  Rights can be held by third parties
  • University patents are sometimes filed under their governing board, i.e.  Board of Regents
  • Company names are not uniform, so search for all variations
  • Examine the patent’s abstract, specifications, and claims for information about the invention

 

Best Patent Databases for Novice Searchers

European Patent Office-ESPACENET

  • Enter company name in Applicant field
  • Applications and granted patents from over 90 countries including the U.S.A.
  • Coverage varies among countries. Some patents go back to 1836
  • ESPACENET Tutorials

U.S. Patent Trademark Office - USPTO

  • Use Quick Search.  Enter company name in Assignee field; i.e. Cisco>
  • Full text patents from 1976 
  • USPTO tutorials