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How Do I Find Patents?
This guide provides information about patents and help for finding the resources you need.
A patent is a legal agreement between a government and an inventor which gives the inventor the right to stop others from making, using or selling that invention in the country or region for a limited time.
Patents cover new inventions, such as a process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention. Patents must show:
Novelty - the first in the world
Utility - solves a problem
Ingenuity - not obvious to someone skilled in that area
The web is the best place to search for patents. If the full-text patent is not available, you can request it throughInterlibrary Loan.
Why Search for Patents?
Patents are a source of technical information that are vital for businesses, researchers, and academics. Reasons to search for patents include:
Gain access to a wealth of technical information not published anywhere else
Learn how something works (diagrams, detailed description)
Avoid duplication of research efforts
Identify new research trends and/or licensing opportunities
Find information on a company's activities, or identify experts in a field