Government authority or licenses based on intellectual property. Patents may be secured for many components of the research process, including novel laboratory techniques, devices, drugs, or unique biological materials such as cell lines or proteins. Patentable inventions must be novel, useful, and not obvious to trained researchers.
Patents serve as a useful indicator of innovation and future economic potential. Patents also document the use of intellectual property that leads to real-world impacts.
Advice from authors on searching for information:
Searching of patents requires some guidance on databases with additional analysis required. Consult the Help section of each resource for additional information.
Resources & Data
Organizations, repositories, websites, and other sources where you can find more information:
- Office of Technology Management at Washington University (OTM). The OTM offers a Technology Search feature to search for all available Washington University technologies. For more information, consult the office at your institution that manages technology transfer and commercialization.
- Google Patents. Google Patents (Google Patents Guidance) covers the entire collection of granted patents and published patent applications from the USPTO, EPO, and WIPO. US patent documents date back to 1790, EPO and WIPO to 1978. See Google Patents Guidance for guidance.
- USPTO Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT). Patent applications may be searched in the USPTO Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT). See USPTO Search for Patents for guidance.
- USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT). Patents (filed and granted) may be searched in the USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT). The USPTO houses full text for patents issued from 1976 to the present and PDF images for all patents from 1790 to the present. See USPTO Search for Patents for guidance.
Challenges you may encounter while searching for information:
Access to self-reported researcher or administrative/in-house data may also be required to locate documentation.
Articles, books, and other publications in translational science using the indicator:
Hitchcock D. Patent Searching Made Easy: How to do Patent Searches Online and in the Library. Berkeley, CA : Nolo; 2017.