903.03 Availability of Foreign Patents [R-07.2022]

Many foreign patent documents received in the Office before October 1, 1995 were placed in the shoes in the Technology Center (TCs), according to either the United States Patent Classification System (USPC) or, in relatively few instances, the International Patent Classification (IPC) system. Foreign patents received by the Office after October 1, 1995 are available on the USPTO’s automated search systems, the Foreign Patent Access System (FPAS), Internet sites, and the Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) collections.

If the examiner desires to update the USPC classification of a foreign patent by changing, canceling, or adding copies, they should forward the patent (or bibliographic information) to their supervisory patent classifier with a request for the desired transaction attached.

The Foreign Patents Service Center manages Main STIC. STIC’s collections are international in scope and include foreign patents, non-patent literature, designs, trademarks, and legal information. There is an assortment of resources which reflect the information needs of examiners and researchers working in various fields of science and technology. The staff is experienced in foreign patent data retrieval, patent family searches, and document retrieval services for non-patent literature in the STIC collections.

Examiners confronted with language problems in classifying foreign-language patents may call upon the Translations Service Center of STIC for assistance (see MPEP § 901.06(a)). In addition, the Translations Service Center retains copies of translated foreign patents in the database.