How to Use Patent Public Search (PPUBS)

Wouldn’t it be great if you can find how many patents have been obtained by a patent attorney or agent? Using the new tool by the USPTO called Patent Public Search (PPUBS), you can search for patent grants by practitioner name. On the welcome page, you will find two options: Basic Search or Advanced Search. While Basic Search might suffice for a quick and easy search, the results may be incomplete.

If you want complete results, choose Advanced Search. Be prepared, however, to use more complicated search strings in order to find patent grants by a patent attorney or agent.

Which patent database should you search?

To find granted patents, select the USPAT database which includes patents going back to 1970. For practical purposes, this should be sufficient for gauging the number of patents by a currently practicing patent attorney.

If you’re simply curious, you can find patents issued earlier than 1970 by checking the USOCR database. Not sure how helpful it would be to look up patents obtained by a practitioner over 50 years ago.

How do you search for the number of patents by patent attorney name?

You can use the following search string to find granted patents by my name: (first name).att. WITH (last name).att. This will retrieve at least a subset of issued patents by that practitioner’s first and last name. When I tried this particular inquiry, the search results were incomplete.

After corresponding with the USPTO Public Search Facility staff, they suggested tacking a second search phrase using the WITH2 command. This helps to find first and last names that may be separated by a middle name or initial. In other words, find the first name within two words of the last name. For example, some of my patent grants may identify me as Vic Y. Lin.

So the final search inquiry is: (first name).att. WITH (last name).att. OR (first name).att. WITH2 (last name).att.

How many patents have I obtained for clients?

As of January 10, 2023, the total number of US patents I have obtained for clients is 695.

How many patents by patent attorney Vic Lin?
Number of US Patents by Patent Attorney Vic Lin

That total includes both utility and design patents in the US. Of course, this total does not include all the international and foreign patents I’ve handled.

How to Check If A Lawyer Is A Patent Attorney

While many lawyers like to call themselves an IP attorney, not everyone IP attorney is a registered patent attorney. You can check if a lawyer is a registered patent attorney by searching the USPTO Office of Enrollment and Discipline. For example, here is what you will find when search for Vic Lin:

Patent Attorney Registratio Number and Date - Vic Lin
USPTO Patent Attorney Registration for Vic Lin

This information can be quite useful. First, the registration number confirms that a lawyer or agent is actually a registered patent practitioner. Obviously, if you do not find an attorney’s name on this directory, they do not and can not file patent applications for others. They can still practice trademark or copyright law.

Second, the Status column tells you whether a practitioner is a patent attorney or agent. Patent agents can file patent applications for others, but cannot otherwise engage in the practice of law.

Third, the “Date registered as attorney” identifies when they were first registered so you can see how long they’ve been practicing. Since my patent registration date is in 1999, I suppose you can say that I’ve been practicing patent law since the last millenium.

What if more than one practitioner share the same name?

One benefit of the newer tool is the high number of searchable indexes. If the patent attorney you’re looking up has a common first or last name, consider adding more a specific searchable index to narrow the results. For example, you can add a firm name if you know the law firm that employs the patent attorney.

You can also use the Date registered an attorney to modify your PPUBS search results by adding a date range starting from the year of registration. This can help narrow the number of patents by the specific practitioner.

What is not included in a search by patent attorney name?

Keep in mind that some law firms choose not to show practitioner names on the patent certificates. Only the firm name is identified on the face of a patent. Therefore, trying to search for a practitioner’s name at such a firm may lead to little or no search results. You may need to search for the law firm name and then try to deduce the number of filings handled by a particular practitioner.

PCT applications and foreign patents are not included in the PPUBS databases.

How many patents can we get for you?

Put our patent experience to work for you. With a former USPTO patent examiner on our team, use our patent expertise to your advantage. Contact US patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at vlin@icaplaw.com or call (949) 223-9623 to see how we can help you gain patent protection.

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Vic Lin

Startup Patent Attorney, Cofounder at Innovation Capital Law Group
We align ourselves with Davids fighting Goliaths. Our registered patent attorneys help innovators get IP that drives funding, growth and sales. Email or call us so we can get to work on your IP: (949) 223-9623 | vlin@icaplaw.com