On February 1, 2022, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) announced a new Patent Public Search tool similar to the search tools used by patent examiners to provide more convenient and robust full-text searching of all US patents and published patent applications.

The Patent Public Search tool is free to all users with internet access and is based on the advanced Patents End-to-End (PE2E) search tool used by patent examiners. It also combines the capabilities of four existing search tools scheduled to retire in September 2022: (1) Public-Examiner’s Automated Search Tool (PubEAST), (2) Public-Web-based Examiner’s Search Tool (PubWEST), (3) Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT) and (4) Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT). (In the past, the public could only access PubEAST and PubWEST at a PTO facility or a Patent and Trademark Resource Center.)

Additional benefits of the new search tool include:

  • Multiple layouts with several tools to provide more data at once
  • Multicolor highlighting that can be viewed across multiple gadgets and be turned on or off
  • Ability to tag documents into multiple groups that can be renamed and color coordinated
  • Ability to add notes, tags, relevant claims and highlights to an image
  • Use of the same searching syntax as PubEAST and PubWEST.

The PTO also introduced a new Patent Public Search webpage that includes FAQs, training resources and additional information to assist the public in using the new tool. The PTO is also planning on conducting public training sessions that will be posted on the webpage as soon as they are scheduled.

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