Skip to main content

U.S. Government Documents: Patents and Trademarks

General Information

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is a federal agency of the U. S. Department of Commerce and has a strong website featuring a search engine to help identify patents and trademarks. It also contains full text of all U.S. patents, including the art work. Issued patents are available full-text since 1976, full-page images since 1790. Patent applications are available since 15 March 2001. Also available here is access to the Trademark Electronic Search System, TESS, which contains more than 3 million pending, registered and dead federal trademarks.

Princeton University is not a depository library for the Patent Office. The two patent depositories in New Jersey are the Newark Public Library which holds patents on microfilm from 1790 to the present, and the Library of Science and Medicine of Rutgers University whose microfilm patent holdings begin with 1976. Staff in these depository collections can help in identifying and locating patents.

The following publications can be useful for research on patents and trademarks. Some are available in print and others are available in an online version.

  • Index to the U.S. Patent classification.
Also available in an online version at:
Alphabetical list of subject headings referring to specific classes and subclasses; this is the best place to start for those unfamiliar with patent classification.
  • Manual of classification.
Available in an online version at:

Lists all classes and subclasses of inventions. Includes subject index.
  • U.S. Patent Classification System classification definitions as of ...
(DOCSM) C 21.3/2: [microform]
Also available in an online verstion at:
Describes new and revised classes and subclasses and changes in patent classification.
  • Official gazette of the United States Patent Office

1872-1959 (RECAP) 9051.922.3

1960-January 1971 (RECAP) MICROFILM S00412

  • Official gazette of the United States Patent Office. Patents.

February 1971-January 1975 (RECAP) MICROFILM S00412

  • Official gazette of the United States Patent Office. Trademarks.

February 1971-February 1975 (RECAP) MICROFILM S00175

  • Electronic Official Gazette (eOG:P).

The current 52 weeks is available and maintained in an online version at:

  • Index of patents.

    1926-1973 (RECAP) 9051.922.001

    1974-2002 (ANNEX B) T223 .D3

    2001, 2003-2009 (DOCS) C 21.5/7 [cd-rom]

    Annual index to the Official Gazette: can be searched by names of patentees and assignees, by class and sub class number, and class title.

    • Concordance: United States patent classification to international patent classification.

      (DR, Trustee Reading Room Reference) T223 .F4 A57 (CURRENT VOLUME). Earlier editions located in Recap.

      Guide which relates U.S. patent classification system to international patent classification


      Depository Info

      The general public is welcome to use depository materials free of charge. For access information and hours, please consult the the online hours (choose "Firestone Library - Depository Access" from the drop down menu), Access Information Page, and the Firestone Access Office

      PLEASE NOTE:  While the general public is welcome to use depository materials free of charge, many of our U.S. Government resources, including many of the resources listed in this research guide, are not depository materials and may only be used by Princeton University students, faculty, and staff.  This includes most of the electronic resources such as Proquest Congressional and Hein Online.

      Princeton University Library adheres to the following policies set by the Goverment Printing Office: FDLP Internet Use Policy Guidelines and Depository Library Public Service Guidelines for Government Information in Electronic Formats.