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Copyright and Intellectual Property: Patent Searching

This guide serves as an introduction to copyright resources and best practices. It is not meant as legal advice.

Patent and Trademark Resource Center

How to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search: A Step by Step Strategy (36 minutes)

A detailed handout of the Seven Step Strategy with examples and screen shots.

Reaxys Patent Search

EXAMPLE:  Search for patents that deal with cognitive enhancers assigned to Hoffman La Roche.

1.  From the Reaxys start page, click on Literature.

2.  NOTE:  The author field includes patent assignee.  So in Author field select CONTAINS Hoffman.

3.  Use the Citation Basic Index and enter cognitive NEXT enhancer.

4.  Click Search Literature and the patents will appear in results.

SciFinder Patent Search

When searching for a chemical patent in SciFinder, select the Patent menu under References and enter the Patent Number, Assignee, and/or Inventor.


If you don't have the patent information mentioned above, then you can do a Research Topic search. From the results, filter the Document Type to Patent.

Patent Search in LexisNexis Academic

Begin at the library homepage, select the Articles and Databases tab, the letter L, and LexisNexis Academic.

Once in the database,

  1. Select Search By Content Type
  2. Under Legal, select Patent Search.
  3. Enter your search term(s) or Patent Number or select Advanced Options.

With Advanced Options, you can search by Inventor, Applicant Name, Applicant Number, Assignee, Patent Title, and more.  An efficient way to narrow your results is by specifying the date.  For example, if you're researching a new patent, try narrowing the date to the last 6 months.

How to Use Google Patent Search

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