Patent PDF - Mac

Our need for copies of patents is endless.  The story has it that Chester Carlson invented the process of electrophotography in order to solve the problem of obtaining copies of patents, and Xerox was born.  The Imaging Science center at RIT is named after him.  But you are in luck, today there is a much simpler way to get a copy of a patent right from the USPTO.

This is for Mac people, with a recent version of OSX and Safari 8.  If you are a PC, or are using a different browser than Safari, then the process may differ.

Thanks to Judith S and David Metzger for additional tips.  PC users can try the third party Swiss program Poxoq. It is a free download from a Swiss software development company.   If you don’t mind letting a third party know which patents you are looking at then you can also try the robust offering from Google Patents.

I have also heard good things about Pronto Patent, a $29 program, also on the Mac App Store.  On the PC side there is Patent Hunter, a subscription service.  Judith S notes that it is faster and easier to get PDFs from WIPO or E-Space then jumping through the hoops at the USPTO.  Maybe.  Patentscope is here.

Now, on to the USPTO hoops.  First, navigate to the USPTO search engine for patent numbers.  If you can’t find it (no surprise there), as of 2015, try this link.  It should take you here:

Enter the patent number you require, then search.  This should quickly bring up a text version of the patent, handy for selecting and pasting portions into a Word document.

Look at the top section of the page:

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Choose the buttom “Images.”  This will take you to a page that used to show TIFF images, and require that you have some flavor of the plug-in AlternaTIF.  No longer! Good News: now you can get the full patent here in PDF.  Look at the left hand panel, which should look like:

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Click on the button “Full Pages.”  Now comes the tricky part.  If you simply do a traditional File>Save then you are only going to get an html page, not the PDF file that you want.  After the screen flashes and a full version of the patent is up, there should be a small (dark grey) window superimposed near the bottom of the page.  Look at this image:

The small window may disappear, so if it isn’t showing just hover your mouse in that area and like magic it should come up.  Click on the right icon, the one with an arrow pointing to a monitor.  That’s it!  A PDF copy of the patent is now in your download folder, named 0.pdf.

You will want to move the file and rename it, using your method of choice.  For first timers look at the download folder, either in the Finder or the Dock.  Both are show below:

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`© Robert Rose 2015