Skip to Main Content
George Mason University Infoguides | University Libraries
See Updates and FAQss for the latest library services updates.

Finding Patents


The CPC is the Cooperative Patent Classification. It was established in 2013 by the USPTO and the EPO. Older US patents have been reclassified with the number too; you just won't see it on the patent itself. This classification can help you get more relevant documents.

The CPC is complicated. Often, companies seeking a patent will hire a patent attorney or another expert in searching patents. It is difficult to find every patent that your invention is related to in order to be sure that you aren't infringing on someone else's patent.

If you are looking for patents for ideas for a school project or assignment, this is not an issue. You could choose a CPC that keeps coming up when you do a keyword search to see if you get more relevant results by using it.

How to Search for Patents (video, 7:25)

This tutorial provides an introduction to using the patent classifications systems to improve your search. Focuses on the search and the Cooperative Patent Classification system. By U. Central Florida.

Note: Select 720p from settings button if possible.

Is the video not visible? Check your browser compatibility. opens new window

If your browser is compatible, try the video, How to Search for Patents, on YouTube.