Patents and patent information
What are patents?A patent is a legal document which gives it's owner the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling, and importing their invention without their permission. Patents therefore protect the features and processes that make things work. Patents can be a vital source of technical information.
Heriot-Watt University Library does not hold many patents. Those few that we have can be found via the Catalogue. However, our Inter-Library Loans service can obtain copies of most patents where the full text is not available from the services listed below.
Various services can be used for finding patents:
GB Esp@cenet covers all GB applications published by
the Intellectual Property Office under the Patents Act 1977,
plus GB patents granted by the Intellectual Property Office
since June 2002. The GB database is one of a number of
databases available through esp@cenet
through which patents from Europe and
WIPO (World Intellectual
Property Organization), and information
about patents worldwide, are available.
- The United States Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) produces the
Patent Full-Text and Full-
Page Image Database. Coverage is from 1790 onwards for
issued US Patents, full-text from 1976 onwards.
Google Patents also
searches information from the USPTO.
Patent Lens is a worldwide, open-access, free full-text
patent informatics resource.
- Other search services include
Boliven Patent Search,
Patents and Standards Search,
Scirus Advanced Search which includes a filter for patent
- Patent Pal makes available a toolbar containing over 30 unique patent related searches and other features. You can download this toolbar to your browser.
Further information on patents
More information about patents is available from the
Property Office. The
Library's Help for Researchers: Patents site is also a good
source of information about patents. The European
Patent Office has guides to patents.
is the WIPO guide to using patent information. Other sources of information about patents include
which is hosted by
Landon IP, a global leader in professional patent searching.
The World Patent Report: A Statistical Review is produced by WIPO.
The Intellectual Property Office publish IP Insight, a free monthly e-newsletter. World Patent Information is a journal about Industrial Property information and documentation.
Some books about patents are available in the Library, for example: How to find information: patents on the internet, by David Newton, and Intellectual property: patents, copyright, trade marks and allied rights, by William Cornish and David Llewelyn.
The Patent Librarian's Notebook is a blog by Michael White, a librarian from Ontario, and The Patent Search Blog is published by Steve van Dulken, from the British Library..