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Finding a British patent There are two basic steps to finding a patent: look up an index to find the patent number and year, then ask a librarian to request the patent using the number and year. See the Digitised versions box on this page for the links to the digitised indexes.
There are three types of index: name (of patentee); subject and chronological. If it is from 1893 onwards, go to the Online resources box on this page. If you cannot find the patent online, you can search an index. For patents from 1617 to 1892: Use the indexes to find the patent number and year. Step 2: Once you have the patent number and year, ask a librarian to request the patent from the offsite store for you.
The design patent protects only the appearance of an article, but not its structural or functional features.
The following table displays the calendar year along with the first corresponding document number issued in each year for selected patent document types (utility, design, plant, and reissue patents and statutory invention registrations) (*) The current patent numbering system began with a patent issued on July 13, 1836.
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A patent date is when something was patented, not when it was actually made, many items were manufactured for many years after it the patent was granted.
Essential information The number and year of the patent are essential to know if you wish to view a patent.
You can then contact staff who can order the relevant patent from our offsite store, using the patent number and year. Some indexes have been digitised on the Hathi Trust website.
It shows the first patent number issued in each year, so if you have a patent number, this easily yields the approximate date to begin with.
You cannot do this yourself, as it is an offsite order.