An applicant is a person (i.e. natural person) or organisation (i.e. legal entity) that has filed a patent application. There may be more than one applicant per application. The applicant may (but need not) also be the inventor .

Standardised and unstandardised names

When you search with an applicant name, the Espacenet search engine looks for entries of it in the database as both an unstandardised name and standardised name.

  • The unstandardised name is the name as entered by the applicant in the Request for grant form. This is the name that will be shown in the original document.
  • The standardised name is the name assigned by the EPO. This is the name that will be shown in the Result list and in the Bibliographic data, even if the name on the original document is the unstandardised name. To see the unstandardised name, click the relevant application title in the Result list and then click the + symbol to the right of the applicant's name in the Bibliographic data view.

Searching with applicant names

Names are not case-sensitive when entered in the Applicant(s) name field in Advanced search or when entered together with the appropriate field identifier in Smart search.

If you do not know whether the name you want to search is the applicant's or the inventor's names, you can enter it in Smart search, starting with a capital letter, e.g. Bosch. Espacenet will then search for all applicants and inventors with this names. Searching this way is equivalent to using the field identifier: ia=bosch.

Important: If you enter a name without a capital letter, Espacenet will retrieve all docuiments in which it appears in the title, abstract, inventor or applicant. Searching this way is equivalent to using the field identifier: txt=bosch.

If you do know that it is the applicant's name, you can enter it in the Applicant(s) field in Advanced search or in Smart search using the appropriate field identifier, e.g. pa=siemens.

If a patent application has more than one applicant, the number of other applicants will be displayed in brackets, e.g. (+3), next to the applicant names displayed in the Result list.

Tip! To search for applicants from a particular country, enter the country code in square brackets, e.g. [GB], together with the name of the applicant in the Applicant(s) field in Advanced search. Bear in mind, however that only about 40% of the documents in Espacenet are indexed with countries of residence for applicants (and inventors), and that the coverage varies from country to country.

Searching with a person's name

To search with a person's full name, you must enter it in the correct order, i.e. Surname>firstname>middle name(s), and enclose it in quotation marks. For example, to find an applicant called Christopher Miller, enter "Miller Christopher" in the Applicant(s) field in Advanced search. Or enter pa="Miller Christopher" in Smart search.

Searching with an organisation's name

To search with an organisation's name, you should enter it in Smart search in the right order using the appropriate field identifier and in quotation marks, e.g. pa="british aerospace" , or in the right order in the Applicant's field in Advanced search.

You can find more instructions on how to search in Espacenet in the Help index under Basic search tips and in the Espacenet Resource Manual

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