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Patent Date Reference Guide
and Patent Search engine
All material and data Copyright and credited to:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office


Table of Issue Years and Patent Numbers,
for Patents Issued Since 1836*
by selected document type***
1836* 0000001     **  
1837 0000110     **  
1838 0000546     RE00001  
1839 0001061     RE00007  
1840 0001465     RE00020  
1841 0001923     RE00030  
1842 0002413     RE00036  
1843 0002901 D000001   RE00049  
1844 0003395 D000015   RE00060  
1845 0003873 D000027   RE00067  
1846 0004348 D000044   RE00078  
1847 0004914 D000103   RE00091  
1848 0005409 D000163   RE00105  
1849 0005993 D000209   RE00128  
1850 0006981 D000258   RE00158  
1851 0007865 D000341   RE00184  
1852 0008622 D000431   RE00209  
1853 0009512 D000540   RE00229  
1854 0010358 D000626   RE00258  
1855 0012117 D000683   RE00286  
1856 0014009 D000753   RE00337  
1857 0016324 D000860   RE00420  
1858 0019010 D000973   RE00517  
1859 0022477 D001075   RE00643  
1860 0026642 D001183   RE00874  
1861 0031005 D001366   RE01106  
1862 0034045 D001508   RE01253  
1863 0037266 D001703   RE01369  
1864 0041047 D001879   RE01596  
1865 0045685 D002018   RE01844  
1866 0051784 D002239   RE02140  
1867 0060658 D002533   RE02430  
1868 0072959 D002858   RE02830  
1869 0085503 D003304   RE03250  
1870 0098460 D003810   RE03784  
1871 0110617 D004547   RE04223  
1872 0122304 D005452   RE04687  
1873 0134504 D006336   RE05216  
1874 0146120 D007083   RE05717  
1875 0158350 D007969   RE06200  
1876 0171641 D008884   RE06831  
1877 0185813 D009686   RE07452  
1878 0198733 D010385   RE08020  
1879 0211078 D010975   RE08529  
1880 0223211 D011567   RE09017  
1881 0236137 D012082   RE09523  
1882 0251685 D012647   RE09994  
1883 0269820 D013508   RE10265  
1884 0291016 D014528   RE10432  
1885 0310163 D015678   RE10548  
1886 0333494 D016451   RE10677  
1887 0355291 D017046   RE10793  
1888 0375720 D017995   RE10892  
1889 0395305 D018830   RE10978  
1890 0418665 D019553   RE11053  
1891 0443987 D020439   RE11137  
1892 0466315 D021275   RE11217  
1893 0488976 D022092   RE11298  
1894 0511744 D022994   RE11397  
1895 0531619 D023922   RE11461  
1896 0552502 D025037   RE11520  
1897 0574369 D026482   RE11581  
1898 0596467 D028113   RE11646  
1899 0616871 D029916   RE11706  
1900 0640167 D032055   RE11798  
1901 0664827 D033813   RE11879  
1902 0690385 D035547   RE11960  
1903 0717521 D036187   RE12070  
1904 0748567 D036723   RE12189  
1905 0778834 D037280   RE12299  
1906 0808618 D037766   RE12428  
1907 0839799 D038391   RE12587  
1908 0875679 D038980   RE12738  
1909 0908436 D039737   RE12906  
1910 0945010 D040424   RE13066  
1911 0980178 D041063   RE13189  
1912 1013095 D042073   RE13346  
1913 1049326 D043415   RE13504  
1914 1083267 D045098   RE13668  
1915 1123212 D046813   RE13858  
1916 1166419 D048358   RE14040  
1917 1210389 D050117   RE14238  
1918 1251458 D051629   RE14417  
1919 1290027 D052836   RE14582  
1920 1326899 D054359   RE14785  
1921 1364063 D056844   RE15018  
1922 1401948 D060121   RE15257  
1923 1440362 D061748   RE15513  
1924 1478996 D063675   RE15739  
1925 1521590 D066346   RE15974  
1926 1568040 D069170   RE16240  
1927 1612700 D071772   RE16515  
1928 1654521 D074159   RE16841  
1929 1696897 D077347   RE17176  
1930 1742181 D080254   RE17550  
1931 1787424 D082966 PP00001 RE17917  
1932 1839190 D085903 PP00006 RE18312  
1933 1892663 D088847 PP00052 RE18705  
1934 1941449 D091258 PP00085 RE19038  
1935 1985878 D094179 PP00117 RE19409  
1936 2026516 D098045 PP00162 RE19804  
1937 2066309 D102601 PP00211 RE20226  
1938 2104004 D107738 PP00266 RE20610  
1939 2142080 D112765 PP00307 RE20959  
1940 2185170 D118358 PP00352 RE21311  
1941 2227418 D124503 PP00437 RE21683  
1942 2268540 D130989 PP00499 RE21992  
1943 2307007 D134717 PP00564 RE22242  
1944 2338081 D136946 PP00611 RE22415  
1945 2366154 D139862 PP00649 RE22585  
1946 2391856 D143386 PP00666 RE22706  
1947 2413675 D146165 PP00722 RE22827  
1948 2433824 D148267 PP00774 RE22957  
1949 2457797 D152235 PP00818 RE23068  
1950 2492944 D156686 PP00911 RE23186  
1951 2536016 D161404 PP01001 RE23315  
1952 2580379 D165568 PP01059 RE23449  
1953 2624046 D168527 PP01160 RE23612  
1954 2664562 D171241 PP01238 RE23763  
1955 2698434 D173777 PP01339 RE23918  
1956 2728913 D176490 PP01442 RE24105  
1957 2775762 D179467 PP01543 RE24263  
1958 2818567 D181829 PP01672 RE24413  
1959 2866973 D184204 PP01792 RE24584  
1960 2919443 D186973 PP01893 RE24761  
1961 2966681 D189516 PP02009 RE24918  
1962 3015103 D192004 PP02117 RE25107  
1963 3070801 D194304 PP02208 RE25309  
1964 3116487 D197269 PP02337 RE25507  
1965 3163865 D199955 PP02465 RE25707  
1966 3226729 D203379 PP02585 RE25953  
1967 3295143 D206567 PP02699 RE26132  
1968 3360800 D209732 PP02784 RE26328  
1969 3419907 D213084 PP02856 RE26515  
1970 3487470 D216419 PP02959 RE26749  
1971 3551909 D219637 PP03011 RE27018  
1972 3631539 D222793 PP03063 RE27264  
1973 3707729 D225695 PP03281 RE27540  
1974 3781914 D229729 PP03413 RE27856  
1975 3858241 D234033 PP03674 RE28292  
1976 3930271 D238315 PP03824 RE28671  
1977 4000520 D242881 PP04001 RE29095  
1978 4065812 D246811 PP04174 RE29506  
1979 4131952 D250676 PP04360 RE29872  
1980 4180867 D253796 PP04491 RE30183  
1981 4242757 D257746 PP04612 RE30469  
1982 4308622 D262495 PP04796 RE30840  
1983 4366579 D267440 PP04970 RE31115  
1984 4423523 D272009 PP05168 RE31479  
1985 4490855 D276949 PP05380 RE31783 H000001
1986 4562596 D282020 PP05622 RE32061 H000007
1987 4633526 D287540 PP05846 RE32323 H000182
1988 4716594 D293500 PP06075 RE32569 H000396
1989 4794652 D299180 PP06501 RE32814 H000563
1990 4890335 D305275 PP07089 RE33138 H000720
1991 4980927 D313301 PP07408 RE33510 H000863
1992 5077836 D322878 PP07761 RE33786 H001007
1993 5175886 D332170 PP08082 RE34154 H001124
1994 5274846 D342818 PP08527 RE34493 H001270
1995 5377359 D353932 PP09026 RE34814 H001389
1996 5479658 D365671 PP09413 RE35136 H001512
1997 5590420 D377107 PP09776 RE35418 H001623
1998 5704062 D388585 PP10172 RE35708 H001701
1999 5855021 D403485 PP10743 RE36021 H001766

The current patent numbering system began with a patent issued on July 13, 1836.

Prior to that date, 9,957 patents had been issued. The user should note that the data in this table have been checked but that it may still not be completely devoid of errors.

Numbers, as displayed in the table, are 7 characters with the numeric portion padded with leading zeroes where necessary.

Note that some numbers within a series may be unused. Therefore, the number of patents granted during a year cannot be determined by simply subtracting the number of the first patent issued in one year from the number of the first patent issued in the next year.

Reissue patents were not separately numbered until 1838

Defensive Publications and Improvement (AI) patents are not included in this table.

The above Information is from the:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Office for Patent and Trademark Information
Technology Assessment and Forecast Program
PK3-Suite 441
Washington, DC 20231

tel (703) 306-2600
FAX (703) 306-2737



~ Patent Descriptions ~
~ Patent Image Databases ~
Search for original patents below:

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Patent Applications:
(published since 15 March 2001)

Search for Patents

New to Patent Searching?
See this important information about searching for patents:

Patents may also be searched using the following resources:

Patent number search

[Help ?]

All patent numbers must be seven characters in length, excluding commas, which are optional. Examples:
Utility -- 5,146,634 6923014 0000001
Design -- D339,456 D321987 D000152
Plant -- PP08,901 PP07514 PP00003
Reissue -- RE35,312 RE12345 RE00007
Defensive Publication -- T109,201 T855019 T100001
Statutory Invention Registration -- H001,523 H001234 H000001
Re-examination -- RX29,194 RE29183 RE00125
Additional Improvement -- AI00,002 AI000318 AI00007

Important Notices Concerning These Databases
from The United States Patent and Trademark Office

These databases are intended for use by the general public. Due to limitations of equipment and bandwidth, they are not intended to be a source for bulk downloads of USPTO data. Bulk data may be purchased from USPTO at cost (see the USPTO Products and Services Catalog). Individuals, companies, IP addresses, or blocks of IP addresses who, in effect, deny service to the general public by generating unusually high numbers (1000 or more) of daily database accesses (searches, pages, or hits), whether generated manually or in an automated fashion, may be denied access to these servers without notice.

If you can access this page, but cannot successfully access any of the Quick Search, Advanced Boolean Searching, or Patent Number Searching pages linked above, your workstation or organization may have been denied access to the Web Patent Databases. To determine if you have been denied access, or to seek to have your access restored, send email including your workstation and firewall or gateway IP addresses to Consult with your network administrators if necessary, as email without the required IP addresses cannot be processed.

Users creating their own hyperlinks to pages on this site are requested and cautioned to do so in a manner which maintains a clear distinction between the user's content and official content published by USPTO. Users packaging pages from this Web site hyperlinked within frames are requested and cautioned to properly identify USPTO-provided content.

Patents issued between 1790 and 1976 are searchable only by patent number and current US classifications.

US Patent Classification data in the Full-Text Database (Current US Classification [CCL]) has been updated to reflect the most current Master Classification File, and may not match the classification data which appears on the patent full-page images (i.e., the printed patent).

Changes to patent documents contained in Certificates of Correction and Re-examinations Certificates are not included in the text of the patent databases, but are included as full-page images at the end of each patent's linked image pages.

Assignment changes recorded at the USPTO are not reflected in the text or image portions of the patent databases.

Sequence listings associated with about 95% of the biosequence patents published in 2001 only are not contained in the patent full-text database. The sequence listings do appear in the full-page images of the affected patents. PTO is presently investigating the feasibility of adding these sequence listings to the full text. In the full-page images, sequence listings usually appear at the end of the specification. One way of navigating to the sequence listings is to click on the [Claims] section navigational link, and then back up one page.

If you have any questions about the patent application process, the USPTO strongly recommends that you consult with a registered patent attorney or agent. The USPTO cannot recommend attorneys or agents. For information on registered patent attorneys and agents, see Patent Attorneys and Agents Registered to Practice before the USPTO.

Additional information about the patenting process is available elsewhere on the PTO Web site and at Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries located throughout the country.

The fact that an invention cannot be found by searching in the USPTO's patent database does not mean that the invention is patentable. The USPTO's text-searchable patent database begins with patents granted since 1976. A complete patentability search must consider all prior art, including earlier patents, foreign patents and non-patent literature.

Please note that USPTO does not record or log the parameters of search requests submitted to these databases. Such uncollected information has thus never been disclosed through sale or FOIA request, intentionally or otherwise, to any third party. USPTO does not plan to change this operational policy.


All material and data Copyright and credited to:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office


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1. Why use this guide?

1.1 Diamond Marks 1842-1883

Use this guide if you are trying to find out about an item with a diamond mark but you don't have the registered design number.

The diamond mark, found on the item itself, can help you to work out when it may have been manufactured and what material class it belongs to. This information can help you in searching for a design registration, but you should note that not all searches will be successful.

See our research guide on registered designs for more information.

1.2 Trade marks 1876-1938

Use this guide to find original representations (drawings, paintings, photographs) of trade marks.

The National Archives collection is far from complete, but this guide will suggest supplementary sources for researching trade marks.

2. Essential information

2.1 Diamond marks

Diamond marks were issued by the Patent Office between 1842 and 1883. They were issued with the registration number when a design was registered.

A diamond mark showed that an item was designed in Britain and the design had been registered. It also meant that the person registering it had legal protection against others copying it.

2.2 Trade marks

Trade marks were used to identify a brand. A company's trade mark made their goods recognisable and assured comsumers of the quality they could expect from a product.

Cotton trademarks were registered in Manchester and non-cotton trademarks in London.

Trade marks are still used to protect brands. The symbol shows a trademark has been registered. The symbol indicates a manufacturer considers the mark to be a trade mark but it has not been registered

3. What do diamond marks look like?

Diamond marks were printed, engraved or otherwise marked on a design - for example on the underside of china or the reverse of printed fabric.

The mark was in the shape of a diamond with numbers and letters marked at specific points to represent:

  • the type of material used (known as the class)
  • how many items were included (sometimes known as bundles or packages)
  • the day, month and year of registration

4. What do trade marks look like?

The purpose of a trade mark is to be a recognisable symbol of a specific manufacturer - so they are designed to be distinct. Traditionally they have been:

  • a word written in a particular style and colour such as Rose's cordial or Pears' soap
  • a made up word such as Lego or Vaseline
  • a more detailed image such as the lion used by MGM or the Burberry check pattern

More contemporary trademarks include symbols or icons such as those used by Nike and Apple, and sounds or jingles such as the Intel and Nokia tunes.

5. How to interpret a diamond mark

Diamond marks included a letter code to represent the year the design was registered. By the end of 1867 the alphabet had been used in full and the diamond mark had to be altered to avoid repetition.

This means that the letters and numbers used to represent dates are at different points of the diamond between 1842-1867 and 1868-1883.

The mark at the top of the diamond was a Roman numeral representing the material the item was made from. These did not change position.

Use the examples below to work out which date range corresponds to the diamond mark on your item.

For example, if you have a letter in the left point of the diamond and a number on the right, then it falls into the 1842-1867 range. If the number is on the left and the letter on the right it is in the 1868-1883 range.

Use the tables below to work out what the codes represent for the date and the class of material.

diamond mark

6. Diamond mark month codes

Month code Month   Month code Month
A December   H April
B October   I July
C January   K November
D September   M June
E May   R August
G February   W March

*R was used during 1-19 September 1857
*K was used for December 1860
*G was used for the month in place of W 1-6 March 1878

7. Diamond mark year codes

7.1 Year codes for 1842-1867 in alphabetical order

Year codes   Year codes   Year codes
A 1845   J 1854   S 1849
B 1858   K 1857   T 1867
C 1844   L 1856   U 1848
D 1852   M 1859   V 1850
E 1855   N 1864   W 1865
F 1847   O 1862   X 1842
G 1863   P 1851   Y 1853
H 1843   Q 1866   Z 1860
I 1846   R 1861

7.2 Year codes  for 1868-1883 in alphabetical order

Year codes   Year codes
A 1871   L 1882
C 1870   P 1877
D 1878*   S 1875
E 1881   U 1874
F 1873   V 1876
H 1869   W 1878
I 1872   X 1868
J 1880   Y 1879
K 1883      

*From 1-6 March 1878, W was used for the year in place of D

7.3 Codes listed chronologically

Year codes   Year codes   Year codes   Year codes
1842 X   1855 E   1868 X   1881 E
1843 H   1856 L   1869 H   1882 L
1844 C   1857 K   1870 C   1883 K
1845 A   1858 B   1871 A    
1846 I   1859 M   1872 I    
1847 F   1860 Z   1873 F    
1848 U   1861 R   1874 U    
1849 S   1862 O   1875 S    
1850 V   1863 G   1876 V    
1851 P   1864 N   1877 P    
1852 D   1865 W   1878 D*    
1853 Y   1866 Q   1879 Y    
1854 J   1867 T   1880 J    

*From 1-6 March 1878, W was used for the year in place of D.

8. Material classes

I   Metal
II   Wood
III   Glass
IV   Ceramic
V   Wallpaper
VI  Carpets
VII-XIII   Textiles of various kinds, including dress and furnishing fabrics

9. Using our catalogue to find records of trade marks

For tips on searching the catalogue, use the help page.

Records of trade marks are in record series BT 82, BT 900 and BT 244 (see section 7 for more information). The trademarks are not individually described in the catalogue. Instead, they are listed in ranges of registration numbers.

If you know the registration number you can browse the relevant record series in the catalogue to find the right range. For example, if you are looking for registration number 20300, you will find it in BT 82/82 which has the range 20251-20500.

Using the advanced search option to search the catalogue within specific record series and dates will give you more focused results.

Our catalogue contains descriptions of our records. None of the records described in this guide are available online. To view the documents that you find references for, you will need to either visit The National Archives at Kew or pay for copies to be sent to you. Alternatively, you can pay for research.

10. Trade mark representations and registers

When a trade mark was registered, two types of record were created.

10.1 Representations

A representation (for example a painting, sketch or photograph) of the trade mark was submitted and pasted into a book along with a registration number shown on the same page. Sometimes the manufacturer's details are written onto the same page - but not in all cases.

The National Archives has representations in record series BT 82 (1876-1938) and BT 244 (1876-1922).  The record series descriptions in the catalogue give useful administrative histories that will help you to understand how the records were created.

BT 82 includes representations for cotton and non-cotton classes from both London and Manchester offices.

BT 244 contains representations of trade marks for cotton classes from Manchester only. A number of files were destroyed by enemy action in the Second World War.

The files are arranged according to the material class of the items - so that:

  • BT 244/1-44 are class 23
  • BT 244/45 - 436 are class 24 (and numbers begin with M)
  • BT 244/437-461 are Class 25

Search the catalogue within BT 82 and/or BT 244 by date to find the volume of representations that will cover the trade mark you are looking for.

10.2 Registers

Once the representation was received and given a number, an entry was made in a register along with details of the manufacturer or company registering the trade mark.

Unfortunately only a few specimen registers, all relating to BT 82, survive. They are in BT 900 as follows:

  • BT 900/15  register of trade marks covering 5 October 1876
  • BT 900/16 register of trade marks covering 3 October 1876
  • BT 900/17 register of trade marks covering 1884
  • BT 900/18 register of trade marks covering 1934
  • BT 900/19 Appendix to registers of trade marks covering 10 November 1933 to 11 December 1935
  • BT 900/20 Indexes to registers of trade marks covering 15 Jan 1884 to 3 October 1884

There are no registers for the representations in BT 244 making it difficult to link a trademark to its owner unless details were written in the representations volume.

11. Other useful sources for trade marks

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) now has responsibility for registration of trade marks.  Search the IPO database to find trade marks by name of company or description of trademark. If you find the registration number this way you can then look for the original representation in our records.

The British Library has a collection of the Trade Marks Journal from the first year of publication in 1876. The British Library website also offers further guidance on patents, trade marks, designs and copyright.

The publication 'A Century of Trade Marks 1876-1976' (HMSO 1976), available in The National Archives library, gives a detailed explanation of:

  • the Acts of Parliament relating to trademark registration
  • how the records were created
  • the systems used to allocate numbers to registrations

Search our catalogue using the terms trademark and trade mark (both terms are used frequently) and filter your results to see what is held in other archives.

Guide reference: Domestic Records Information 101




There can be some exceptions to the dates, but generally these dates are correct. There is also a lot of variation to the marks.  These are some of the more commonly seen examples.




1891 to 1921


1922 to 1941

Occupied Japan

1945 to 1952

Made In Japan

1953 to present




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