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Patents & Patent Searching: TIFF Image Viewer

About the Plugin

The USPTO provides full text for patents issues 1976 to present. However for 1790 to present they only offer TIFF images. Here are some tips on how to download the plugin. NOTE: In Windows, you must be running Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Opera. MAC and Linux users have their own links. See further information in right column.

How to Download

In order to be able to view pre-1976 patents it is required that you download the plugin for a TIFF image viewer. This can be a very simple process as long as you do the following....

Review the following webpage.

   NOTE: There are three different versions, decide which one you need according to whether you are running Windows, MAC, or Linux.

   Taken from the above webpage:

  The only free, unlimited time TIFF plug-ins offering full-size, unimpeded patent viewing and printing unimpeded by any advertising on Windows® x86 PCs of which we are aware    are: 

For the Apple Macintosh®, Apple's freely distributed Quicktime version 4.1 or later works with our images for pre-Safari Macintosh, but does not provide direct printing capability. It is available from the Apple Web site at
Please visit and type "patent" to locate plug-ins for recent versions of Macintosh browsers

For Linux®, a plug-in called "Plugger" works nicely with Netscape Communicator®. It is available at

Further Notes:

Make sure you are using the suggested web browser. For example, the above downloads will not work in Firefox on a Windows computer.

Also, upon completion of the download once you attempt to view a TIFF image you may be directed to download Apple Quicktime if you do not already have it. Pay attention to your popups, they will give you answers! Yes, you still need the Apple Quicktime even if you are a Windows user. For further troubleshooting refer to the link,

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.