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What is a Patent?
What is a patent?
- a government grants an inventor exclusive rights over a technology with a patent. The inventor then has the right to stop others from making, using, or selling the invention
- The patent owner has a monopoly for 20 years in the country in which the patent was issued
- Most countries have their own patent offices. In Canada, this only protects the invention within Canada. There is no such thing as a world-wide patent.
Three Types of Patents
- Utility Patents
- The most common type that involves a technology or device
- Design Patents
- A patent for the design or look and feel of a technology
- Plant Patents
- for plants e.g. a type of tomato or rose hybrid
What is Patentable?
In order to qualify for a patent, an invention must meet four criteria:
- The invention must be unique and new and never before made public in any way, anywhere, before the date of the filed application
- This invention must not be obvious to someone skilled in the particular field
- The invention must be useful or have a useful purpose
- The inventor must give full disclosure of the invention and how it works
Why Search for Patents?
- 85-90% of technical information disclosed in patents does not appear anywhere else
- Patent diagrams and detailed descriptions can give information about how something works
- Searching the patent literature can make sure an area of research has not already been done and helps avoid duplication
Where to Search for Patents
Canadian Patents Database (Canadian Intellectual Property Office)
This database lets you access over 75 years of patent descriptions and images. You can search, retrieve and study more than 1,500,000 patent documents.
Derwent Innovations Index (part of Web of Science)
Patent information indexed from over 50 patent issuing authorities from 1963-present with patent citations indexed from the Derwent Patents Citation Index (1973-present).
This is the European Patent Office's patent search tool which has access to information about inventions and technical developments. Search for worldwide patents by keyword, inventor, patent number, country.
Free Patents Online
FreePatentsOnline.com provides fast, easy-to-use access to millions of patents and patent applications. With the most powerful patent search engine on the web, and an ever-expanding data collection, FreePatentsOnline is rapidly becoming the premiere way to search patents. And it's free!"
With Google Patent Search, you can now search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you. Search for patents via Google Scholar by entering the keyword, patent number, or citation search. Has a comprehensive list of citations to.
Intellectual Property Databases Search from Patex (formerly PATSCAN)
Links to major patent databases (Canada, U.S. and Europe) and to patent classification schemes
Patent Scope (part of World Intellectual Property Organization)
Search intellectual property Data contained in the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) products and services; provides both national and international patent search
Patentscope (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Using PATENTSCOPE you can search 36 million patent documents including 2.2 million published international patent applications (PCT).
SciFinder provides desktop access to Chemical Abstracts and related databases from CAS. Search more than 8000 journals and patent references (from over 32 patent-issuing organizations). It also includes more than 26 million substance records and CAS Registry Numbers.
Date coverage: 1907-present (articles and patents); 1955-present (substances).
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
Search full text US patents by keyword, name or the cooperative patent classification (CPC) number. Please note, the images need a special TIFF viewer to display. Go to http://www.uspto.gov/patft/help/helpfaq.htm, or http://www.uspto.gov/patft/help/images.htm for more information. The special viewer can be downloaded at http://www.alternatiff.com/.
Scopus Patent Search
After you do a document search in Scopus, you can limit your results to Patents. Do a search and then select Patents as the format limit:
Given a patent number, pat2pdf.org will return a free, pdf formated version of the patent.