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Patents, Trademarks, & Copyrights

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Retirement of SciFinder "Classic" - December 31, 2022

  • On December 31, 2022, the SciFinder “classic” interface will be retired for the University of California system. Going forward, we will only have access to SciFinder-n (or SciFindern,

  • Registered SciFinder users should expect to see several emails between now and the end of December reminding you of the change.
  • If you are already using SciFinder-n, there’s nothing you need to do.
  • If you are still using SciFinder “classic,” I do encourage you to begin using SciFinder-n. It’s the same username and password for both systems. If you have the old URL bookmarked, it will redirect to SciFinder-n after December 31.
    • To migrate your saved searches and alerts, login to SciFinder-n, go to Saved and Alerts, then Migrate Alerts & Saved Results. There is more information about migration exceptions within the SciFinder-n help menu (link).
  • CAS has created some good training videos on SciFinder-n ( There are also some upcoming webinars, and I can offer training to classes, research groups, and individuals.

Updated: Mitchell Brown (June 16, 2022)   contact at

Finding U.S. Patents

* following title of the source or information product denotes that it restricts access to the UCI community.  For remote access, users will have to use the VPN.  These are basically search engines for patent & tradmark sources. 

See this excellent tutorial from the US Patent and Trademark Office on the patent search process.

Finding International Patents & Trademarks

How to Cite Patents

Citations to patents should include the "full" patent number that is searched and retrieved from within most databases.  It may include the country code of origin and the year of award or publication and the kind code.

The kind code (i.e. B1,A) should be included when provided or available because it notes the status of the patent at the time it was cited in a document. Kind Codes are generally added to the end of a patent or a patent application number and provide additional information on the status of the application or the patent.  They are usually 1 or 2 digits with the first being a Letter.  Patent applications are generally "A" documents and Patents are "B" documents.  There are US Kind Codes used until 2001, those used after 2001 and some for plant patents. 

There can be variations on patent names & titles depending on the source of origin.  Some databases are known to edit the patent name to make it more distinctive and easier to search.  A good habit is to use the patent name that is used on the PDF of the patent when including it in the citation, as it will be easiest to retrieve.

Citation Styles are usually straight-forward because of the numerical and chronological sequencing.  Examples of APA, MLA, NLM and the Chicago Style Manual are provided (acknowledging Patricia Kirkwood's compilation).

Subject Specific Patent Sources

Patents are richest in products that have specific applications such as medicine, chemicals, other specific materials. 




For INDUSTRIAL DESIGN - these databases may contain design registrations of a single country or a group of countries.  The USPTO is probably the largest of these databases.



It is increasingly common for drugs and biologically active chemical compounds to have been patented.  According to the ACS, more than half of all new chemical substances are disclosed first in patent applications and these resources identify patents that cover specific drugs and pharma-applications: