U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | European patents (was Re: Sury)

European patents (was Re: Sury)

I have realized that I replied directly to Richard Knoppow instead to The List some days ago. So I send this message again, because this is of general interest and I think that part of the confusion about the Sury's patents (but this is seasonabily extended to whosever patents) are arising from a lack of knowledge on how to perform a patent search.
Google allows full text and date searches for all patents where the USPTO site allows them only for patents issued after 1975.
1870-1975 US patents in USPTO are available as sigle TIF pages. Very interesting to look at, especially using the advanced search and narrowing the time period.
I have not found a site for older European, British, or Japanese patents.
http://gb.espacenet.com/search97cgi/s97_cgi.exe?Action=FormGen&Template=gb/e n/advanced.hts (all in a row!)
There you find and download PDFs also for the entire patent family, that is all the national patents derived from the first original. It is possible also to view the forward citations.
However, the search motor must rely on the various national database update, and thus some old patents may be still hidden.