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Collaborative for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (CTEC)

Intellectual Property

As per the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

IP is protected in law by, for example, patentscopyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.

Two good WIPO sources:


Standards are written descriptions of the criteria for a specific product, process, test, or procedure that is agreed to by formal processes. Here lists several sites of standard databases.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
ANSI delivers enterprise-wide, electronic access to the most standards collections. Entire document collections are available via the ANSI Online Electronic Standards Store (ESS). Thousands of standards are ready for immediate download with a fee.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Compass 
A collection of industry-leading standards and technical engineering information containing ASTM's 13,000 standards in more than 130 industry areas, symposia and Special Technical Publications (STPs), manuals, monographs, data series, and journals. 

Standards and Specifications written by Scholarly Societies
Provides by the University of Waterloo, the site links to standards-developing societies and associations from around the world.

Patent Searching

  • Patent search: 

    • Process of identifying specific existing patents related to an invention or idea.​

    • Before doing a patent search, ask yourself: Did someone else already think of your invention?​

    • Inventions already patented and disclosed in publications are called “prior art.”

      • Patent search is also called Prior Art Search​.

      • Prior Art: Information and knowledge that is in the public domain​.

  • Importance of Prior Art Search 

    • U.S. patent grants are effective only within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions.  ​

    • Prior art searches are required worldwide.

  • To do a Prior Art Search, check:​

  • Importance of Non-Patent Literature​ 
    •  One of five patents cites NPL​
    •  NPL contains more prior art than patents in ​new technology literature
    •  NPL offers more deep indexing for search
  • When searching NPL:
    • DO think about who the customer is.  ​

    • DO think beyond “this is a great idea, therefore it can be easily marketed and sold”.  ​

    • DO be as specific as possible when you identify your market. ​

    • DO research your innovation in the business press as well as the empirical, scientific or engineering press.  ​

    • DO consider if it is legal or what legal barriers to entry and business exist.  

  • When searching patent databases, consider:

    • What is the purpose of the invention? Is it a design or utility function?​

    • Is it a process or a product?​

    • What is it made of?​

    • What is it used for?​

    • What are some common and technical terms that describe the nature of the invention?


How to Search for Patents 
This information prepared by the USPTO provides FAQs for US patent searching.  

USPTO Patent Public Search
The Patent Public Search tool is a new web-based patent search application that replaced internal legacy search tools PubEast and PubWest and external legacy search tools PatFT and AppFT as of 9/30/22. Patent Public Search has two user selectable modern interfaces that provide enhanced access to prior art. This list of Quick Reference Guides outlines what the tool can do, how to quickly leverage its benefits, and where to get help if you need assistance. The new capabilities are designed to improve the overall patent searching process and can be used to search up to 3 databases at the same time:

  • US-PGPUB-U.S. Pre-Grant Publications (Published Patent Applications) since 2001.
  • USPAT-all issued U.S. patents since 1790.
  • USOCR-text of issued U.S. patents from appx. 1830’s to 1970 scanned by OCR (Optical Character Recognition).

This web-based tutorial from the USPTO shows How to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search: A Step by Step Strategy 

NOTE: Patent Public Search works best in Google Chrome browsers and is ok in Microsoft Edge. It does NOT work in Safari; Mac users should use Chrome for Mac. It also does not work in tablets or phone browsers.

European Patent Office Home Page
From this site you can get access to the European Patent Office's search engine: esp@cenet. It is a free Internet service from the European Patent Organization. You can use it to search 45 million patent documents from all over the world from 1836 to today. EPO also has a Helpful Resources page. 

Google Patent Search - covers the entire collection of patents made available by the USPTO patents issued in the 1790s through those issued in the middle of 2006. Currently it does not include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued over the last few months. One can either do a general search or use the Advanced Patent Search feature.

World Intellectual Property Organization PCT Database
Search or browse World Patent bibliographic data, abstract and drawing of published PCT applications. Abstracts in English, with full patent image in the language of the inventor's country.

NOTE: WIPO is NOT a granting agency for intellectual property rights but rather an international organization that serves as a repository of information and promotes the protection of intellectual property worldwide. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS  A GLOBAL PATENT.

China and Global Patent Examination Information Inquiry 
On-line service system established to meet the inquiry demand from applicants, patent right owners, patent agencies and the general public. The Global Patent Examination Information Inquiry is used for retrieving data for inventions filed with the EPO, JPO, Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), USPTO and State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C. (SIPO).

Japanese Patent Databases 
One can conduct search in English in the following areas: FI/F-term Search, Patent Abstracts of Japan, Patent Map Guidance and Laws and Guidelines.

The Lens - The Lens brings together over 100 million global patent records, indexing for over 200 million scholarly works, and over 300 million biological sequences from patents. It allows you to view citation relationships between the global patent literature and scholarly works, identify patent families, view biological sequences that are disclosed in patents, view author and inventor profiles, view academic institutions’ influence rankings as calculated based on citations of their patents, and more.

For more detailed information on patents, see the Patent LibGuide

Rutgers Patents

Office of Research Commercialization - The ORC at Rutgers University provides "patenting, marketing, licensing, start-up company formation and other commercialization support to our student and faculty researchers at three campuses throughout New Jersey." Use the Techfinder link to search for available technologies.

Patent Seminars/Webinars/Guides

USPTO Path to a Patent Series - The Path to a Patent quarterly series covers everything from intellectual property basics, to patent searching, to what is required to draft and submit a patent application. The series is part of the USPTO's ongoing intellectual property training for independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.

USPTO Events - Includes in-person and virtual events on patents and trademarks.


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