I need to import a large number of patents (e.g., all the patents by a particular inventor or assigned to a specific assignee) into BibTeX format. Are there tools for doing this?

I'm not interested in single patents or in approaches that do this one patent at a time, but in ways to import large batches all at once. In particular, I'd be interested in tools provided directly by online patent databases and repositories (e.g. the USPTO or the EPO).

  • Sounds like a challenging project! Are the patents registered in multiple countries or in one country only?
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 0:21
  • @Mico: I'd be satisfied if I could just get batches (e.g. from a search result for inventor or assignee) of the USPTO.
    – orome
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 0:36
  • Have you considered using JabRef? It lets you create custom import filters that take csv files as their input(s) and produce bib files. Check it out at jabref.sourceforge.net/help/CustomImports.php.
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 0:59
  • @raxacoricofallapatorius What format will the output from this services be? CSVs? Web-pages?
    – Sveinung
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 15:54
  • @Sveinung: Web pages.
    – orome
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


Zotero is the answer. I made a search for Borregaard at the USPTO and got a long list of hits. In Firefox, I got that little yellow letterbox (the rightmost of the four small icons to the right in the address bar). I clicked that icon, and got a pop up list of all the hits. I selected some, and clicked OK, and Viola! ; all the patents were imported to Zotero. From there, it is just to export all to bibtex-format.

If you are not familiar with Firefox or Zotero, it is very easy. Zotero also works with Portable Firefox, see PortableApps.com(I use it). And you can use Zotero standalone if you are using Safari or Chrome. I assume it works the same way, but I have only tested Window$ 7, Firefox Portable 11 and Zotero 3.03.

I also assume that you can do the same trick with Mendeley, but I have not tested.

  • +1 For Zotero and is also available for Chrome or Safari aficionados.
    – yannisl
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 20:08
  • Wow!! That's incredible.
    – orome
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 21:02
  • Incredible, for sure. And remember if you have trouble with the import and need to fine tune the site translators (the import filters), there are very helpful and responsive people at the Zotero Forum. F.ex visit the Site translator -forum at forums.zotero.org/6 .
    – Sveinung
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 21:29
  • @Sveinung, +1 for zotero, you may want to have a look at workflow that makes use of biblatex package, biber backend, and a text editor that supports biber(I use TexStudio) here.
    – doctorate
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 12:08
  • Zotero seems to be having problems with google patents (in their forums they say the problems are solved, I would beg to differ). The USPTO site works nicely.
    – craq
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 21:56

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