You are here:

Copyright & Patents/Looking for patents


I am in the process of building a website, and am aware that there is a similar site operating with a number of active patents regarding its functionality.  I would like to view the patents to ensure I am not in infringing or copying any of the patented functions of the website.

My question is I have found a number of patents on
and would like to know is the central database for all such patents, or if there are other databases I also need to check?

Also are the patents on this website final and how do I check for patent pending applications?

Any help will be great.



In order to explain why this is a bit difficult question to answer, I start with some background information about applying patents.

There are normally three 'routes' to apply for a patent:
1) Many countries have a patent system for just that country, which is - among others - the case in my country, the Netherlands.
2) Sometimes there also is a 'regional' patent system. This is the case in Europe, where you can apply for a patent that is valid for most European countries, by applying at the European Patent Office (EPO). So for the Netherlands I would also have to search the European patents in which my country is designated.
3) There is a third way, the PCT way (PCT= Patent Cooperation Treaty), by which you can apply for a patent in many countries (most countries of the World in fact) by entering an application through WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office). Several local patent offices also are allowed to receive PCT patents, which they then send to Geneva (WIPO).
That is one thing you should realize.

A second important point is that patents are only valid in the countries for which they are applied.
I have seen somewhere before I arrived at this form, that you live in the UAR. Your country is doubtless a member op PCT (WIPO), and patents applied through that route in which your country has been designated are valid in your country.

Now we come to your question. You want to know which are the patents, valid in your country (in a specific field).

I do not know if your country has a local patent system. I suppose it has, which would make it necessary to look into a database of your patent office in the first place.

I also do not know if you country is part of a regional patent system, but that is not very likely. There is the European patent system, and some African patent system, but I have never heard of a patent system in your region that covers your country. So let us forget about that.

PCT patents in which your country has been designated,however, are valid in your country.

The database you mention in your question contains (only) PCT patents. So you have to look there anyway, but if your country also has its own patent system, you would also have to look in the database of your patent office too. You should contact them about where their database - if any - can be found.

As said I do not think there is a regional patent system, so you would find all the valid patents in your country in the database you consulted, plus a local database for your country, if it exists.

The patent system is quite complicated.
Therefore I also want to mention one more aspect. I do not know details about the patent system of your country. BUT there are countries that have declared all US patents also valid for their country. If that should be the case in your country, you should also consult the database of USPTO, which you can find at

I hope you understand some of the pitfalls of the patent system now. If still in doubt, please consult a local patent attorney. He knows the details for your country.

As far as the valid patents in your country are concerned, I suppose you have searched the correct database to find most of them.

Rene Hasekamp.

Copyright & Patents

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Rene Hasekamp


I can answer questions about European patent law and practice. My experience mainly lies in the Dutch patent practice. I am not familiar with other patent systems than the European and Dutch systems, although I am familiar with general issues regarding patents. Please don`t ask me questions, specific for US patent law or any other non-European patent law.


I have been a patent examiner in the Netherlands Patent Office for 35 years. Now I am retired. I have been a deputy judge for patent cases in The Hague's District Court from January 1991 until June 2011.

I graduated in Chemistry and Law at Leiden University. I have worked in the Netherlands Patent Office as an examiner for 35 years until my retirement in 2003. I was appointed as a honorary deputy judge for patent cases in 1991. After my retirement I still work at a few cases on patent law in The Hague District Court.

©2016 All rights reserved.