Frequently Asked Questions

What is PTODirect™?

PTO Direct™ is a free patent, trademark and copyright research tool created by patent, trademark and copyright attorneys for their own daily use and for use by their clients.  It has been up and running since 2007 with great success.  Simple, intuitive hyperlink formats allow you to create links to any patent or trademark for interactive reference in reports, emails and other documents.  PTO Direct searches the United States Patent and Trademark Office databases for the most current data with links so users can search additional relevant information immediately.  Searches are not tracked or saved, so users can search safely.

How do I search Trademarks in PTODirect™?

PTO Direct™ searches all trademark records since 1870 in the United States Trademark Office databases.  Users can start new searches at any time, can copy search results links and search results tables into reports, and access relevant Trademark Office records directly from the PTO Direct™ search results.  Advanced searching options also explain how and allow users to search specific fields within Trademark records.

What is the free Direct Link™ Software?

DirectLink™ is a free software offered through PTODirect™ that will convert any patent and trademark numbers in a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel document to a hyperlink that accesses that patent or trademark record on the Internet.  Great tool for creating interactive reports.  Patent and trademark professionals and companies can quickly reference relevant intellectual property in reports and opinions without being required to attach cumbersome .pdf copies of the references.  DirectLink™ also allows users to download lists of patents into the database at once to ensure that .pdf copies of their patents are all included in the PTODirect™ database for others to search as well.

How do I search Patents in PTODirect™?

PTO Direct™ searches the literal full text of all patents in the United States Patent and Trademark Office databases from 1971 to the present, and searches the title and inventor fields back to 1920.  Users can start new searches at any time, can copy search results links and search results tables into reports, and access relevant Patent Office records directly from the PTO Direct™ search results.  Advanced searching options also explain how and allow users to search specific fields within Patents and Patent Publications.  Users can also find the generally unknown X-series patents, P-series patents, T-series patents and many more through PTO Direct™.

Why not just use Google Patents?

Google patents is great for searching the text of older technologies before 1971 (where the Patent Office does not have the full text available), but uses a text recognition technology that, from our tests, misses about 20% of the words.  For a search of current technologies and patents, there is no better free online search tool for U.S. Patents than PTODirect™.

Why not just search at the Patent and Trademark Office?

It is our experience as intellectual property professionals, that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office search tools are difficult to use for most people (and difficult to find).  After years of trying to explain to clients how to find and use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office search pages, it was just easier to create a user friendly, free search tool.  Also, the U.S. Patent Office does not provide downloadable .pdf copies of their patents.