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You can use the keyword search in three languages: German, English and French. Most entries can be found in our data for English terms. Keywords are searched in the title of patent applications, as well as brief descriptions (abstracts). Therefore, we advise you to search based on terms that you would expect in the title or description of a patent application. Industry names like “IT” or an educational background as “engineering” are not helpful. For this we recommend the toplists.

If possible, please do not only for one technical term that describes your invention best, but vary the term through the use of synonyms.

Patent-Pilot utilizes the full list of patent appications that were filed at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). These are more than 2 million patent applications.

The attorneys and law firms have been harmonized and aggregated to a law firm or company. Only lawyers, who have represented at least 5 PCT applications since 1978, have been included in the list. Patent lawyers who are employed by a company rather than a law firm, were removed. This results in more than 5,000 law firms and more than 18,000 associated patent attorneys in 67 countries on all continents.

Our database contains all PCT patent applications mentioning a patent attorney. Those are about 2.3 million patent applications and they are equivalent to the WO entries in the Patentscope database.

On you will find patent attorneys, who have represented at least 5 WO patents. If you know a patent attorney who you cannot find on our site, he simply did not representa sufficient number of patent applications before the WIPO.


This is unlikely. You probably should broaden your search using more general keywords. Do not limit your keywords to much, if your field of knowledge is new or even unknown at this point. It might also help to enter synonyms. Furthermore, it might also make sense to search for attorneys who represented competing technologies in the past. However, patent attorneys are not allowed to represent two direct competitors, so have a look at the clients list using the top lists.

The keyword search runs through patent applications previously submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization. It is open to applicants whether they indicate a person or a patent law firm as a representative in the registration documents. Thus, it is possible that both natural and legal persons are listed in the results.

These representative have been broadly categorized. As far as possible, the representative names were also harmonized. But it cannot totally be inhibited, that firms are mentioned several times because patent law firm names have changed.

If you have represented WO patents in the past, you are almost certainly already in our data. A registration as a patent attorney is not possible if you are not found in our database.

In the keyword search, our software scans titles and descriptions of existing patent applications. Thus, you should use keywords which you would expect to appear in titles or descriptions of a patent application. It should be keywords describing your invention, not an industry or a scientific field like biotech or mechanical engineering.

Patent Pilot offers both profiles of patent attorneys as well as profiles of patent law firms. With our filter functions, you can come closer to the patent attorneys who meet your general criteria. This might be specific technical areas or geographical regions.

Then go through the profiles listed. Looking for highly experienced attorneys? Then you should look for people who represented many applications. If geographical proximity or experience in a particular technical field are important, then take a look at the profiles in detail. Here you will learn a lot about specializations and clients. Some patent attorneys work primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises.

A patent is the strongest intellectual property right that you can obtain. Here we show you more about the characteristics of patents and here you will find an overview about alternatives to patent protection.

Yes, you can. However, even patent offices advise you to appoint a patent attorney as representative if you do not experience at your disposal about how to write an application.

This question cannot be answered on a general basis. It depends very much on how unique your invention is and how often you have to correspond with the patent office. An excellent patent attorney can shorten the process significantly. For sure, it will take a few years from application filing to patent grant. The European Patent Office states a period of 3 to 5 years for the examination.

A preliminary patent search for prior art can be performed by yourself. Here you can find a description of important free of charge online databases, provided by patent offices and Google. Follow this approach for a first overview of existing knowledge in the field of your invention.

You will develop an idea whether a professional patent search is worth executing. You probably won’t get around it if you want to apply for a patent.

After filing of the first patent application, applicants are given up to 12 months for filing patent applications in other countries that relate to the same invention. All of these applications that refer to the same so-called priority application form a patent family. The larger the patent family, the more extensive patent protection. Since each application involves costs, it is expected that an extensive patent family protects a significant and highly valuable invention.

However, there are some limitations to the validity of this measure. Patent family size also depends on technical fields. In some areas, it is sufficient to protect an invention in the major markets such as Germany, Great Britain or France, because it would not make sense for a competitor to market an invention only in the small, non-protected markets. On the other hand, marketing an invention in small countries only may be promising in some fields (e.g. pharmaceuticals) when production and market launch costs are rather low compared to market prices.

Again, on patent attorney profiles you will find an average of all applications an attorney has represented.