Q&A: Doing a patent search

Can I do a detailed patent search here at Stanford Libraries?

Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library has a good patent site pointing to various databases, search aids, etc. Google Patent Search covers the entire collection of issued patents and millions of patent application made available by the USPTO—from patents issued in the 1790s through those most recently issued in the past few months (from their About page).

In order to search the official patent and trademark databases, at the United States Patent Office, you need to go to one of the authorized depository libraries for patent searches. These depository sites have full access to the patent databases. The closest such depository to Stanford is in Sunnyvale, at the Sunnyvale Public Library.