The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trade marks and copyright. They operate and maintain a clear and accessible intellectual property system in the UK, encouraging innovation and helping the UK economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas. The Intellectual Property Office is responsible for:
For information specifically on patents, you can look here. The Intellectual Property Office has created a very complete overview of things to be considered before you apply for a patent, a step by step guide to the patent process in the United Kingdom from idea to a granted patent, and seeking intellectual property advice when you apply for a patent. (This part is very UK-centric, but does include advice about applying for foreign patents.)
The European Patent Office's core activity is the search and examination of patent applications and the grant of European patents. The Office works in close co-operation with the patent offices of the member states and other countries around the world. They also provide patent information and training services. Their European Patent Register provides procedural information on all European patent applications from the moment they are published. It includes links to the patent registers of many of the EPO member states, showing the status of European patents after grant, when the national patent offices take over responsibility for them. With its worldwide coverage and search features, Espacenet offers free access to information about inventions and technical developments from 1782 to today. You can use Espacenet to:
You can also access Espacenet through a portal that allows the searcher to access their native language and national office. Some examples of regional search databases are: the Russia Patents database, the Eurasian Patent Office, Arabpat and Latipat.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) promotes innovation and creativity for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries, through a balanced and effective international intellectual property system. They also provide the data and economic intelligence that enable strategic decisions, and artificial intelligence tools that enrich IP services and administration. The PATENTSCOPE database provides access to international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in full text format on the day of publication, as well as to patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a large number (currently, 153) of countries.
National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT) provides "J-PlatPat (Japan Platform for Patent Information)" as a service where anyone, at any time, anywhere can search industrial property information for free over the Internet. J-PlatPat provides industrial property information such as publications and foreign gazettes on all the patents, utility models, designs, and trademarks issued by JPO since the Meiji era. Additionally, it provides the history information, which allows you to easily see the current progress of applications going through the examination process. J-PlatPat also plays a role as a new information infrastructure that provides industrial property information through enhanced search functions and user interface, as well as a link to the JPO system, which enables users to efficiently find the industrial information they are seeking.