Patent Number Lookup

Updated May 14, 2012   //   Reference

This article explains how to correctly enter Patent numbers into the Dashboard for searching and importing Patent data.

The format of Application and Publication ‘numbers’ (which includes codes containing letters and other punctuation such as commas, strokes and dashes), varies widely between countries and most countries have changed their numbering format over time. We have an Advice article covering the variations and complexities of Patent application and publication numbers.


Some or all of the following fields may be presented when you need to search for a Patent number in the Dashboard:

Number Type

Choose whether the number is a Publication or Application number. If you don’t know, try one then the other (we suggest Publication first as it’s more likely you’ve got a publication number).

Number Format

The original number format is the one issued by the receiving office and is typically what appears on other publications and applications, websites and in scientific literature. EPODOC and DOCDB are explained in this article.


Select which country or region the Patent is lodged in from the list box. You find a country quickly by typing its ISO country code or the country’s English name.

See this page for a list of allowable codes.


Enter the serial number of the Patent application or publication in the box, in the format selected in the Number Format field.

For many of the common countries and regions, a box will popup to help you input the number in the correct format.

Kind Code

Kind Codes are suffixes to patent publication numbers which indicate at what stage in the process the publication is occurring – for example the publication with a search report, or the announcement of grant.

The Kind Code field is optional and isn’t generally required or advised for searching.


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