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Great Britain: intellectual property documentation

The following is a detailed list of British patent documentation held within the British Library's intellectual property collection. 

Intellectual Property stock locations

IP Open Access: Always available in the Business & IP Centre

IP Reserve South: In secure storage, can be delivered to the Centre in typically 1-3 hours

IP Reserve North: In secure storage, can be delivered to the Centre in 48+ hours. If a nine-digit number is shown under "location", these can be ordered for use in the Centre by registered readers through Explore the British Library. Please type the number into the Explore search box to rapidly retrieve the record.

IP Reserve Material cannot be ordered for same-day delivery after 16:00. Sometimes the service may not be available all day on Saturday due to staffing. Some Reserve Material may not be available at times due to stock movements. Please contact us before your visit to check.


Intellectual Property Office

Patent specifications

1978 to date
Applications: (A specs)2427532- to dateOnline 
 2000001-2406489PaperIP Reserve North
 2481570 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 2000001- 2481569CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Granted: (B specs)3rd January 2007- to dateOnline 
 6th April 2004- 2008CD/DVDIP Reserve North
 2000001-30th March 2005 (last number 2404293)PaperIP Reserve South
Specifications100001-end of seriesPaperIP Reserve South
1852-1915 (patents numbered in yearly series, numbers assigned at filing stage and not always published)
Specifications1/1852-18225/1915PaperIP Reserve South
1617-1852 (numbered retrospectively, order not perfect)
Specifications1/1617-14359/1852PaperIP Reserve South
 1/1617-364/1699Paper (unbound)IP Reserve South

Patent databases

Publication Server2007 - to dateOnline
Ipsum (status details and some file wrapper material)2008 - to dateOnline 
Access Europe (Bibliographic details)2012 - to dateCDIP Open Access
 1978- 2011CDIP Reserve North

Indexes and Abstracts

Classified abridgements of specifications:
Red bindings1979-1996PaperIP Reserve South
Green bindings  1963-1978PaperIP Reserve South
Maroon bindings1931-1963PaperIP Reserve South
Blue bindings1855-1930PaperIP Open Access
Small red bindings1617-mid 19th centuryPaperIP Open Access
Supplement to Subject-Matter Index (corrections to abridgements)1225001-1250000PaperIP Open Access
Illustrated Journal (Abridgements in numerical order)1884-1930PaperIP Reserve South
Abstracts of Patents Relating to Rubber Latex1940-1948PaperIP Reserve South
Name Index to Specifications1612- to datePaperIP Open Access
Group Allotment Index340001- 2314494PaperIP Open Access
Fifty Years Subject Index1861-1910PaperIP Open Access
Annual Subject Indexes  1852-4,1870PaperIP Open Access
Subject Matter Index (2 editions) 1617-1852PaperIP Open Access
 1617-1852 (1st Ed)PaperIP Reserve South
Chronological Index1617-1852PaperIP Open Access
 1999-2002PaperIP Reserve South
Chronological and Descriptive Index1852-1869, 1871-1875PaperIP Reserve South
Derwent British Patent Abstracts1997- to datePaperIP Reserve South
Derwent British Patent Abstracts.1975- to end 1998PaperIP Reserve North
Reference Index1617-1852PaperIP Open Access
 1617 -1852 (2 copies, references to other publications and legal cases)PaperIP Reserve South

Official journals

Patent Journal   
(searchable web page)05/03/2008- to dateOnline  
(downloadable print format)05/03/2008- to dateOnline 
Patents and Designs Journal2004-2005CD/DVDIP Reserve North
 1997-2003PaperIP Reserve South
Official Journal (Patents)1953-1997PaperIP Reserve South
Official Journal of the Patent Office1929-1952PaperIP Reserve South
Illustrated Official Journal (Patents)1896-1928PaperIP Reserve South
Official Journal of the Patent Office1884-1895PaperIP Reserve South
Commissioners of Patents Journal1854-1883PaperIP Reserve South

BL patent registers

Application Concordance Registers(red)      01/1916- to datePaperIP Open Access
Stages of Progress Registers (green)1600001- to datePaperIP Open Access
 332001-1600000PaperIP Reserve South
Renewal Fees Registers (red)500001-1150000PaperIP Reserve South
British Patent File Lists (large blue vols)1911-1000000 PaperIP Reserve South

Legal decisions

British Library collected Court Decisions (C/xxx/nn)1970- to datePaperIP Open Access
High Court (Patents Court) Decisions1997- to date (selective)Online
Patents County Court Decisions2006 - to date (selective)Online
Patent Office Decisions (O/xxx/nn)1970- to datePaperIP Open Access
 1998- to date (partial)Online 
Reports of Patent, Design, Trade Mark & Other Cases. (RPC)1884- to datePaperIP Open Access
RPC Index by Pirani1884-1909PaperIP Open Access
RPC Consolidated Table of Cases1884-1953PaperIP Open Access
RPC Digest1884-1955PaperIP Open Access
Fleet Street Patent Law Reports (FSR)1965- to datePaperIP Open Access
Hayward's Patent Cases. (HPC)1600-1883PaperIP Open Access
Carpmael's Patent Cases1624-1840PaperIP Open Access
Webster's Patent Cases1600-1855PaperIP Open Access
Patents Appeal Decisions (AT/xxx/nn)1970-1978PaperIP Open Access
Intellectual Property Decisions1978- 2010PaperIP Open Access
Index to County Court and Office Decisions1981-5PaperIP Open Access
Secretary of State's Decisions1985PaperIP Open Access
Supreme Court Decisions2009- to dateOnline
House of Lords Patent Decisions  1979-86 (partial)PaperIP Open Access
 1996- 2009Online 
Registered Designs Appeal Tribunal Decisions1979-80PaperIP Open Access
Litigant Index to Court/Office Decisions1986- to dateCard indexIP Open Access
Industrial Property Citator (also includes other Common Law countries and Europe)1956-1981PaperIP Open Access
Intellectual Property Citator (also includes other Common Law countries and Europe)1982-2001PaperIP Open Access

Miscellaneous patent publications

Patent Office Annual Reports1852-1999PaperIP Open Access
Patent Design and Trade Mark Act 1986 PaperIP Open Access
Patent Act 1977  PaperIP Open Access
Patent Act 1949 PaperIP Open Access
Patent and Design Act 1907 as amended to 1946   PaperIP Open Access
Patent and Design Act 1907 as amended to 1932 PaperIP Open Access
Patent and Design Acts1907-1928PaperIP Open Access
Patents Acts collected1907 – 1961PaperIP Open Access
Patent, Design and Trade Marks Acts1883 – 1888PaperIP Open Access
Patents Rules1978, 1982, 1990, 1995 PaperIP Open Access
Patents Rules collected volume1908-1995PaperIP Open Access
Manual of Patent Practice2nd to 5th EditionsPaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instruments Patents1987-2003PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instrument Patent Fees Rules1986PaperIP Open Access
Copyright Rules collected volume1908-1985PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instruments Copyright1987-1999PaperIP Open Access
 1986PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instruments Europe1998PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instruments Plant Breeders' Rights1965-1985PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instrument Supreme Courts Amendment No. 2 Rules1986PaperIP Open Access
Patents for Inventions. Key to the Classifications/ Classification Classes/ Classification Divisions (some classes missing in some eds)440001-1998PaperIP Open Access
Reference Index to the Classification Key1953, 1953 supplemented version (2 copies), 1963 (2 copies), 1967 (2 copies)PaperIP Open Access
C2C class manual1975, 1987 (2 copies)PaperIP Open Access
Catchword Index to the Classification key.*1979,1982,1985, 1986, 1993, 1996PaperIP Open Access
Classification Key: Documentation Records1993-2004PaperIP Open Access
Abridgement Classification Key Indexes1897,1899-1905, 1910,1927,1932,1954PaperIP Open Access
  PaperIP Reserve South
Key to the Classification Classes 1-901957-1958PaperIP Open Access
Concordance Between the UK Key and the IPC 3rd Ed.1993, 1996PaperIP Open Access
Classification Key AIP Reserve Northtracts2001-4PaperIP Open Access
Explanatory Notes1988PaperIP Open Access
Notes on the Use of the Classification Key1982, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1995PaperIP Open Access
Universal Indexing Schedules1987, 1990, 1993PaperIP Open Access
C2C Manual1978, 1979, 1982, 1983 PaperIP Open Access
Classification and Information Retrieval Services BulletinMay 1982PaperIP Open Access
Expired British Patents1981 – 1982PaperIP Open Access
 1981PaperIP Reserve South
Number Index of Proceedings1914-6PaperIP Reserve South
List of Search Files PaperIP Open Access
List of UK Patents by German nationals in force 1.12.1946 PaperIP Reserve South
List of Applications by Enemy Aliens Opened to Public Inspection1939-1946PaperIP Open Access
Patents for Inventions.  Notes for the Headings in the Classification key.*1977,1982,1988PaperIP Open Access
List of Patents In Force1923-1955PaperIP Reserve South
Term Frequency Tables1500, A, B, C, DPaperIP Reserve South

Trade marks

Trade Marks Journal1876 – 2003PaperIP Reserve South
 1876-1978MicrofilmIP Open Access
 last 12 monthsOnline 
Trade Marks Journal Name Index 
(Name Index bound in main run after last journal issue for each year during 1930-1938 in main paper copy and throughout in spare paper copy.  Name Index precedes issues in microfilm)
1876-1978PaperIP Open Access
Index of Subsequent Proprietors of Trade Marks1876-1888PaperIP Open Access
Due to the poor condition of the early copies of the Trade Mark Journal, access to the paper copies is permitted only in special circumstances and with permission of the collection manager.
UK Trade Mark Database Online 
Patent Office Trade Mark Decisions (O/xxx/nn)1970- to datePaperIP Open Access
 1998- to date (partial)Online 
Trade Mark Act 1994 (two copies) PaperIP Open Access
Copyright, Design and Trade Marks Acts  1938 – 1985PaperIP Open Access
UK TM Classification and Rules with handwritten updates1938-1950PaperIP Open Access
Trade Mark Classification1905-1919PaperIP Open Access
Trade Mark (Amendment) Rules1982PaperIP Open Access
Trade Mark and Service Mark Rules1986PaperIP Open Access
Trade Mark and Service Mark Rules (Fees and Forms)1986PaperIP Open Access
Trade Marks Rules collected volume1908-1985PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instruments Trade Marks1987-2002PaperIP Open Access
 1986 – 1987PaperIP Open Access


(Brief announcements of designs were included in the Official Journal from 1878 on.  Most other information on designs, including representations of designs from 1842 to 1996, is not held at the British Library but at the National Archives in Kew)
Electronic Designs JournalLast 12 monthsOnline 
 March 2008- 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Designs in View1997-18/03/2008PaperIP Reserve North
UK Design Database
(also covers earlier designs still in force on 1.6.97)
1997- to dateOnline 
Patent Office Decisions (O/xxx/nn)1970- to datePaperIP Open Access
 1998- to date (partial)Online 
Registered Design Name Index1901-1938PaperIP Open Access
 1961-1999Card indexIP Open Access
Non-Ornamental Design lists1843-1883PaperAsk at Reference Desk
Designs Rules Collected1908-1985PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instruments Designs1987-2003PaperIP Open Access
Statutory Instrument Registered Design Fees Rules1986PaperIP Open Access

Old Scottish patents

Chronological list of Scottish patents1836-1855PaperIP Open Access
Name index to Scottish patents1767-1855PaperIP Open Access
Subject index to Scottish patents1767-1855PaperIP Open Access
Calendar of Scottish Patents1712-1812PaperIP Reserve South
Name Index to Scottish Patents1813-1848PaperIP Reserve South
Subject Index to Scottish Patents1813-1848PaperIP Reserve South
(Specifications are held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh. From 1852 Scotland was covered by the British patent system)