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Standards and patents: Find patents

Resources for finding, obtaining and understanding standards and patents.

What is a patent?

A patent is a right to the inventor, in exchange for public disclosure, to exclude others from making, selling, importing or using the invention for a limited period of time in the territory for which the right is granted.

There are no "world patents". Application must be filed in each country. Patenting cooperation treaties, such as World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and European Patent Office (EPO), can help to simplify the process.

The invention can be patented only when it is new, inventive and useful. Patents are published so that other people can benefit from the information they contain.

Patents are important resources for research. The Library recommends researchers and students with an interest in patents and intellectual property consult  Griffith Enterprise or another source of expertise.

Patent databases

Guides for searching

  1. Patents are a combination of a technical document and a legal document.  While they must describe an invention in sufficient detail for someone else "skilled in the art" to recreate it, the language used may not be the same language that you would expect in a journal article on the topic. 
    So, a simple keyword search is unlikely to be comprehensive.
  2. A search by patent classifcation number enhances your search result.
  3. If you need a comprehensive search to determine if you have a patentable invention,  you will ultimately need to consult a professional patent searcher.