I signed up. Why haven't I received my authorization email?
Some email programs mistake our authorization email for spam, so you may want to check to see if it's sitting in your spam folder.
Why do my quotes (commas, periods, punctuation) keep disappearing?
Punctuation is stripped from your search text before it is saved or tested. If you want to search for an exact phrase, instead of surrounding your phrase with quotes, select "Search Exact".
Where is "Search Exact"?
If you open up the dropdown list which defaults to "Search Any", you will see the additional search options: "Search All" and "Search Exact".
How do these three types of searches differ?
A Search All type of search will return matches where all the words in your search text are found in the sections checked.
A Search Any search will return matches where any of the words in your search text are found in the sections checked.
A Search Exact search will only return matches were all the words in your search text are found together in the same order in the sections checked.
How do I search for an exact phrase such as “fitness studio”?
Type "fitness studio" (without the quotes) into the search text box (marked "Enter text here") and select "Search Exact" from the Search Any dropdown.
What if I want to find applications that have a word in one section and then another word in a different section?
This is what the Sub Conditions are for. If you are looking for widgets invented by John Smith you could search for "widget" in the Title. This would find all the widgets regardless of inventor. To narrow your search to return only those invented by John Smith you would then click "ADD SUB CONDITION (AND)" and have the second condition search for "John Smith" as the Inventor. This second condition should either be a "Search All" or a "Search Exact" type of search. "Search All" would return applications invented by "John A. Smith" as well as "John Smith" which may be just what you want.
Why would I want to Test Run my search?
Putting your search through a "Test Run" helps you to see what kind of results your search may return. A "Test Run" is conducted on applications that were published the previous week, so the results you get by email will be different (and current.)
Why doesn't anything happen when I click "Test Run" on the Edit Alert or New Alert pages?
The test results should open in a new tab of your browser. For this to work, you will need to be sure that your browser is not using a pop-up blocker. See our Help / Getting Started guide for more information.
Why am I getting asked if I want to confirm leaving the page?
The system believes that you have not saved the latest version of your search. Since we don't want you to lose the work you've put into creating your search, we ask you to confirm. If you do not want to lose your latest changes, select "Stay on Page", and then click "Save". Now you will be able to go to another page on the website without the confirmation warning.
What order is used in listing the results?
The application numbers returned (both when you test your Alerts and in your weekly emails) are presented in relevance order (best matches are listed first.)
How often are alerts sent out?
The USPTO publishes applications on a weekly basis. Therefore the searches are performed and the alert emails are sent out once a week, often within minutes of the applications being made public.
Why do I get different results when I search for the application on Google than on your site?
Remember, the purpose of this site is to alert you when an application matching your search criteria is published. Our search feature, designed to help you select your criteria, only searches the group of applications published the prior week. This is not meant to be an exhaustive search of all published applications. To do a more exhaustive search check out the resources on the USPTO website.
Why can't I enter individual application numbers to search?
This service does not track applications. It only alerts you to newly published applications which match the search criteria you specified. To do a more exhaustive search check out the resources on the USPTO website.