Finding patents

Information on various patent databases and how to search for patents.

A patent is the exclusive right for a period of time to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. Patents are part of Intellectual Property. Intellectual property refers to creations of the intellect, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and designs.

Why search for patents

Searching for patents may help you to achieve the following:

  • identify new research areas
  • prevent research duplication (novelty search)
  • find information about business activities
  • identify experts in the field.

How and where to search for patents

You can search for patents in patent databases using keywords. You can search for patents by specific country, subject area, by patent number, legal status, or patent office. Note that novelty searches are tricky. Contact the Library or a patent attorney if you plan to do a novelty search. Be aware that patent attorneys will charge for their services.

Patent databases

How to search

For information on how to patent your invention, contact Paul van Helvert at the Servicedesk IP.