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If you do not have these details you will need to search the relevant indexes (see British Patent Indexes box on this page). You can order them to be retrieved using your State Library card.
There will be variations in the number required to identify a patent.
British patent numbers - for the years 1916 to 1981 Note - this table shows the lowest patent number for specifications published in each calendar year.
Granted Patents have a separate number (starting at 100001) to the Application Number.
See the boxes below for particular year ranges for more information about variations to the numbering system.
To initially refine your search, refer to the Finding patents page in this guide.
To actually view the patent images you will need a plug in for your browser, Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Opera, called a Tiff viewer.
The link below is to a free TIFF viewer you can download and install this is one of the ones recommended by the patent office.
Patent published from 4th january 1979 begin with number GB2000001.Furthermore, you can tell by the Term of the patent, what year range your item is from.For example, if you have an antique widget that has stamped on it "" you can look at the chart below and determine that the earliest date of the item would be about 1917-1918, and had a term from 1917 to 1934 (17 Years), so that is the approximate window of time of your widget.The UK National Archives provides useful information about British patents and their holdings (1617-1852 only) of patents.The patents journal contains details of new UK patent applications and changes to the register.