An inventor is a person designated as the inventor in the patent application. There may be more than one inventor. The inventor can also be the applicant .

Standardised and unstandardised names

When you search with an inventor 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 names assigned by the EPO. This 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 inventor's name in the Bibliographic data view.

Searching with inventor names

Names are not case-sensitive when entered in the Inventor(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 inventor's or the applicant's name, 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 name. 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 inventor's name, you can enter it in the Inventor(s) field in Advanced search or in Smart search using the appropriate field identifier, e.g. in=miller.

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

Tip! To search for inventors from a particular country, enter the country code in square brackets, e.g. [GB], together with the name of the inventor in the Inventor(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 inventors (and applicants), 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 inventor called Christopher Miller, enter "Miller Christopher" in the Inventor(s) field in Advanced search. Or enter in="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. in="british aerospace" , or in the right order in the Inventor'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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