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Business: Patents

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Tip

Need patent guidance?  Here are two useful eBooks:

anteater tips iconNolo's Patents for Beginners
A primer on patent law that explains how to: document your invention, acquire patent rights, 'read' a patent application, understand how and why to make a patent search, determine patent ownership, find patent information, understand international patent law, and decide whether to file a provisional patent.

Patent Searching Made Easy
Learn how to verify the patent status of an idea, search Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries, and use online patent search services.  Learn how to assign your idea to the right class, compare it to related ideas, and then determine if it's novel enough to qualify for a patent. 

Nolo (Latin for “I don’t choose to") is a publisher of reliable, plain-English legal information that anyone can use.


 
Patents

 

Materials Science & Engineering
Geography: Global

Millions of bibliographic abstracts covering new technologies and engineering research. Features both scholarly journals and grey literature including: patents, conference proceedings, government reports, newswires, etc. to provide the widest awareness and discovery of developments in the field.  

 

The Lens.org
Geography: Global
A joint initiative of Cambia (an independent non-profit institute) and Queensland University of Technology.  An Open Access host for over 100 million patent records from 95+ jurisdictions. Its search system allows for advanced boolean functions, structured search, biological search, and classification search options to find the most relevant and important patent.  

  • To find US companies who own the most patents:  Lens.org >> Patents [tab] >> Owners [left menu]
  • To find the top companies applying for the most patents:  Lens.org >> Patents [tab] >> Applicants [left menu]

 

Derwent Innovations Index
Geography: Global
Covers over 20 million patents worldwide from 1963 in three sections: chemical, electronic and electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

 

Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents
Geography: US
Annual list compiled by the Intellectual Property Owners Association. 

 

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Geography: Global
WIPO cooperates with intellectual property (IP) offices worldwide all over the world to provide current IP statistics.

 

USPTO Full-text & Image Database
Geography: US

Searchable database of patents, powered by the US Patent & Trade Office.  (Searches are limited to patent numbers and/or classification codes for pre-1976 patents.)

  • For patents by a given company, use the company's official name (e.g. Amazon Technologies, Inc.) in the "Applicant Name" Field.
  • Questions?  Try one of the USPTO's many Support Centers.  


Patents Associated with Products

 

"There are hundreds of thousands of patented products on the market, most of which are known by a brand name or trademark. However, product names usually are not found in patent documents, because companies tend to file patent applications long before considering product names and trademarks. Patent rules also discourage the use of product names in patent applications."

 

Search Tips

  • The name of a product often has no connection to the patent(s) related to it.
     
  • Look for a patent number on the product or packaging. Many companies print patent numbers on their products as a public notification. Use the number to search a patent database.
     
  • Look for company names on both the product and its packaging. Remember that the company that distributes a product may be different from its manufacturer. Search the name of the company in a patent database.
     
  • Visit the company's website. Many companies publish details about their products on their websites and in their product literature.
     
  • Search the product name in a trademark database to determine the name of the owner. Search the owner's name in a patent database.
     

Credit: Thanks go to Michael White at Queens University Library for this great info!

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