PatFT and AppFT are the primary location to search for issued patents and published applications from the USPTO online.
The PAIR system provides a safe, simple, and secure way to retrieve and download information regarding patent application status. There are two PAIR applications, Public PAIR and Private PAIR. Public PAIR provides access to issued patents and published applications to anyone who searches. Private PAIR provides secure real-time access to pending application status and history using digital certificates to authorized attorneys, agents, or inventors.
Patents and trademarks can be sold, transferred, or bequeathed to another person or entity; this is called assignment.
PubWEST is the public version of the USPTO's Web Based Examiner Search Tool. While WEST can only be accessed at the Public Search Facility in Alexandria, PubWEST is available at all PTRCs. To access PubWEST at the Charlotte PTRC, an appointment is required.
PubWEST allows users to search published applications, full-text issued patents since 1976, scanned full-text of patents prior to 1976, abstracts of patents from the Japanese and European patent offices, and the collection of foreign patents available at the USPTO.
Prior to the availability of patent and trademark data over the web, the optical disc system CASSIS was the primary means of distributing the information to the public. Until it was ended in December 2011, the CASSIS system included discs with indices to issued patents and trademarks and published applications, full text images of patents and trademarks, and bibliographic tools for searching.