World's largest prior art collection

In order to be able to do an excellent job, examiners need access to prior art, and we are proud that EPO patent examiners have access to the world's most extensive prior art collection. In October 2022 we passed the milestone of 140 million patent documents from around the world available in our databases. The EPO’s non-patent literature (NPL) and standards documentation collections are also extensive. We continue to expand our collection and negotiate new agreements, so that more and more relevant prior art is uploaded directly into our databases, thereby providing the resources necessary for comprehensive and complete search reports.

  • Billions of technical records
  • 146 million patent publications
  • 70 million publications of Asian origin
  • 37 million full-text non-patent-literature documents
  • 4.6 million standards-related documents

For more information, please see the Quality Report 2022.