This seems to clutter the system, and i didn't see a given rationale in the FAQ.

  • 1
    Searchability seems to be the big one (ideally Prior Art Patent # should bring up a post here on the patent)
    – Ben Brocka
    Sep 20, 2012 at 21:49
  • Agree with both, the USXXXXXXX tags will eventually be pushed down in the popular tag listings for more general tags. But using the patent number as a tag seems like the simplest way to quickly access the patent for those one-off searches given the SE DB schema.
    – aosik
    Sep 20, 2012 at 21:59
  • @BenBrocka hmm creating a tag requires 300 rep on most SE sites. Should there be special rules for [US*] after it patents.se leaves beta. As an aside you cannot do a US* search but you can create a favorite tag [us*] Sep 21, 2012 at 21:48
  • @ConradFrix IMO yes, you really should be able to make patent tags with 1 rep and single-use tags should persist forever, otherwise this site's tagging won't work for new users.
    – Ben Brocka
    Sep 23, 2012 at 20:10
  • @BenBrocka I opened a new feature request for this Sep 24, 2012 at 0:24
  • Pages on Google Patents also links to Ask Patents via "Discuss" link that points to the patent-ID-tag.
    – dimo414
    Jul 10, 2017 at 6:06

2 Answers 2


The rationale for the patent numbers is in fact in a Stack Exchange blog post: A Stack Exchange To Prevent Bad Patents

Ben Brocka is pretty much right that searchability is the big thing.

In particular, this allows for interested parties, like say... patent examiners, to instantly check to see if a patent they're reviewing has any prior art or other information here without having to sort through other things.

  • Since patent numbers are in a well-defined format and are fairly lengthy numbers, wouldn't they be just as searchable with a normal full-text search instead of being used as a tag? Do search engines optimize differently for stack exchange tags vs text content?
    – bta
    Sep 21, 2012 at 20:54
  • 1
    @bta they're easy to find from Google (...kinda) by text, but not inside SE. It's easier to just look for the tag for the patent and there's all your results. Also the most popular tag gets added to the site's title attribute, which IS significant for SEO.
    – Ben Brocka
    Sep 23, 2012 at 20:13

Also, giving the patent number allows review to see if there is art here listed that is earlier than the patent. Say an examiner or defense attorney has a nice reference patent to cite as prior art, except that it's NOT PRIOR. Searching here on that patent number might surface some prior art uncited in the patent but listed here. Could be key in the right case and might be missed without that number.

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