The Historical Idaho Patents Database

The University of Idaho Law School has a neat website called the Historical Idaho Patents Database that I’ve explored on a few occasions. It is a user-friendly way to search patents that were granted to Idaho residents. According to the website, the database only covers patents granted during the years 1866-1908 and 1928, but it is being added to continuously. However, I found that the database currently includes patents granted as recently as 1976.

One helpful feature that this database has that the USPTO’s search engine does not is the ability to limit a search by county. For example, I found that the earliest patent granted to a Bonneville county resident was for an “Evaporative Refrigerator,” granted to Abraham L. VanBuskirk of Idaho Falls on September 16, 1913. The first patent granted to an Ada county resident was for an “Axle Set & Gage,” granted to William C. Carlton of Boise. The first patent granted to an Idaho resident issued in 1866 to Robert Bailey of Idaho City for a “Steam Generator.”

The database is especially useful for searching Idaho patents granted before 1976, because those older patents are only indexed by a limited dataset on the USPTO’s website search engine. The Historical Idaho Patents Database can be searched by title, patent number, inventor name, assignee name, city, county, or date. If you are interested in Idaho History, I suggest you check it out.

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