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U.S. Patent & Trademark Information: Pre-1872 Patent Information

Gateway to beginning patent and trademark research at UC Berkeley.

Pre-1872 Patents

Prior to 1836, patents were unnumbered and uncollected. Some 9,900 patents were issued between 1790 and 1836. When the numbering system began, a fire destroyed about 8,000 of the previously unnumbered patents, so only about 1,900 patents are now known of those previous 9,900. In 1871, the Patent Office began numbering the early patents and now call them the X-patents. The existing X-patents are available on the USPTO Web site. Lists of patents published between 1836 and 1871 were included in the Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Patents; from 1849 abstracts are included. For more detailed information on these early patents consult the introductory pages of the Finding List... listed below.

  • Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Patents.(1994 to present)
    From 1836-1845 contains lists of patents issued; from 1846-1871 includes abstracts and drawings. 1836-1900 in Congressional Serial Set
    • T223 H2 MAIN [NRLF: 1841-1982/83 MAIN: 1993/94-1995/96, 1998/99].
    • News/Micro MICROFICHE 13487 (1986-1997)
    • From 1836-1845 contains lists of patents issued; from 1846-1871 includes abstracts and drawings. 1836-1900 in Congressional Serial Set
  • Finding List for United States Patent, Design, Trademark, Reissue, Label, Print, and Plant Patent Numbers.
    Gives the volume number of the Official Gazette in which a given patent number will be found for the years 1872-1993. Includes information on earlier patents.
    • T223 D7.R3 DREF
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