The current version of http://patft.uspto.gov/help/status.htm shows how to link directly to the pdf of a particular patent. A 2009 version of that page shows how to link directly to a tif of a particular patent. Thank you web.archive.org!
Neither version of the page says how to format the docid for patent types other than utility patents. By trial and error, I’ve found these formats to work.
To view the tif page you will most likely need a tif viewer for your browser, like the free one from the fine folks at alternatiff.com. I had trouble getting it to work in Windows 7 however. I had to, egads, run Internet Explorer as the administrator for the install to work. It used to work in Firefox until about version 54.
Tif/Pdf Link Generator
Enter a patent number:
Also, if you have access to the uspto’s cassis cd’s and dvd’s (available at some libraries) you can find the disc(s) that a particular patent is on by entering the patent number on this page. There are tiffs on the newer dvds while on the older cds the images are in yellow book format. That same page will tell you which cds or dvds a particular patent’s image can be found on. It will even return the image as a tiff if you upload the yellow book image. You can use that page to determine what bulk zip file to download from google’s zipped tiffs to find a particular patent’s tif file.
Somewhere on uspto.gov there used to be a page explaining how to format the patent number for the fractional x patents and thus their docids. I saved a copy of the page but neglected to record the url (so I could find it on web.archive.org). I did find this page on uspto explaining the character codes that represent the fractional part of the patent number. 15 letter code represent 1/16th through 15/16th but of all the fractional patents, only four are actually used. D = 1/4; H = 1/2; N = 7/8; L = 3/4. This page of mine explains more about X and fractional X patents, not all of which are online at uspto.gov.
¹ The tif links for the fractional x patents all come from patimg1, some breaking the documented pattern.