Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
What is a Patent?
What is a Patent?
A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. U.S. patent grants are effective only within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions.
There are three types of patents:
1) Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;
2) Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and
3) Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): Patent Portal
Google Patents Search
Search Results Web results [PPT]Understand Contents Pros and Cons of Google Patents [PPT]
Synonyms may be Inappropriate, based on cultural rather than scientific terms, and may be added automatically.
Not all cited references are included.
There are uploading delays.
A Google Patents search can find prior art, but it is not a complete search.
How the search algorithm works is unknown. “The technology behind Google’s search results, PageRank and other weighting algorithms, is maintained within Google as a trade secret.
Google tracks search activity Privacy issue.
A basic search on "Rearing Kids" (livestock) will automatically retrieve the synonym “children” giving hits that may not be relevant.
Understanding Patents on an International Scale
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) : Patents Portal
"A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application."
WIPO Industrial Designs Portal
In a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article.
An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color.
WIPO PatentScope Patent Search Engine
Searches International and National Patent Collections
Espacenet International Patent Search Engine
Search collections in European Patent Office, the USPTO, and other countries