Ask The Invention Geek – Where Is A Good Place To Research Patents?

Question from Allan B.:
I was doing a research project and I’m wondering where is a good place to research actual patents for medical inventions?
Is that information free or do you have to pay for a service to see the documents? Also, do you know how far back they keep the patents for viewing?

Information about patents is available for free from the US Patent and Trademark Office – or you can search for patent information at google patents –

The Patent and Trademark Office Database has the full text of patents which have been issued since 1976. The database includes the number, issue date and US classification for patents granted between 1790 and 1975. A file of the actual printed patent is also available for most patents granted after 1790.

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