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  • Good morning. My name is Cindy. I am the Liaison Librarian for Engineering. Being a liaison librarian means that I’m sort of like your go-to contact person with the library. And I get to do some outreach and things like this session on library resources and patents.
  • Today we are going to have a fairly packed session. We are going to quickly go over a few things on library services and resources. But the main focus is on patents.
  • Moving on to our main focus patents.A patent is like a contract between society and inventors. Through a patent, the government gives you, the inventor, the right to stop others from making, using, or selling your invention from the day the patent is granted to a maximum of 20 years after the day on which you filed your patent application. It is a way to protect you intellectual property.In exchange, you must provide a full description of the invention so that all Canadians can benefit from this advance in technology and knowledge. People may then read about (though not make, use, or sell) your invention without your permission.
  • What can be patentedA patent can only be for the physical embodiment of an idea.So the invention can be a product (for example, a door lock), a composition (for example, a chemical composition used in lubricants for door locks), an apparatus (for example, a machine for making door locks), a process (for example, a method for making door locks), or an improvement on any of these.
  • Where do patents come from? Inventors send patent applications to patent granting agencies. Here they are reviewed by patent examiners. Patents are good for the country that you are granted the patent in, so sometimes you will see products that have multiple patent numbers for the different countries where patents for that invention have been obtained.
  • Here are some other places that have free full-text patent databases.
  • And here are some more sources for patents and patent information. Along with a list of links to patent offices around the world.
  • Patent requirements.In order to be patentable in Canada, the invention must meet three main requirements: utility, novelty, and inventiveness.Firstly It has to work and have a purposeNovelty. This is where it is important to do thorough searching. Designing and research can be expensive. You want to make sure that it hasn't already been done. You cannot patent it if it is already been invented.Inventiveness. now this is a bit more subjective, but it should strike the examiner with a "why didn't I think of that" feeling
  • There is a lot of legal and technical language involved. And patents use a rather archaic classification system that can be hard to understand at first. But by the end of this session I hope that you will have a much better grasp on patent searching.
  • As I have mentioned patent searching can be tricky and here are some of the reasons whyYou cannot search by keyword only. Patents are often applied for way before the product has a name. You have to think about what the invention is and what it does. It is best to search by patent classification numbers. These are classified by the invention's function rather than by subject, which is how most databases and libraries are ordered. One patent document can have more than one classification.If you turn to these two handouts if you look at the Canadian patent document, on the right hand side you will see that they use the International patent classification codes.On the US document, on the left hand side we see that they use both the International patent classification codes as well as a US classification system.When searching patents you can either look at the classification codes to narrow down numbers to begin your search or find similar inventions and look at their classification codes.
  • Here is an image to help you visualize how classification codes are sorted.Here we have class 43: Fishing, Trapping and Vermin Destroying.There are all inventions with a function related to fishing, trapping and vermin destroyingNow to keep all of these together imagine they are in cabinet 43. Within this, there are many drawers that are also numbered, that contain patents specifically on say Duck decoys, or Fishing Harpoons
  • According to Patent literature however, this is known as a "generally spherical object with floppy filaments to promote sure capture.Can you see why searching by keyword could be painful
  • You can find the Patent Classification Codes online, along with definitions.
  • Types of patentsThere are three main types of patents. The patent numbers differ so you can pick them out easily.Utility patents for inventions. Design patents are granted for the appearance of thing. So for example a chair on a pedestal, the inventor is not reinventing the chair but only changing its appearance.and Plant patents for new varieties
  • Patents are different from copyright and trademarks.Copyright is for things like books, written work, jewellery designs, music, maps.So say you invented something new. and you wrote an article on it. you could copyright the article, but you would patent the inventionTrademarks are a word, symbol or design (or a combination of these) used to distinguish a person or organization in the marketplace
  • Patents are different from copyright and trademarks.Copyright is for things like books, written work, jewellery designs, music, maps.So say you invented something new. and you wrote an article on it. you could copyright the article, but you would patent the inventionTrademarks are a word, symbol or design (or a combination of these) used to distinguish a person or organization in the marketplace
  • Now the University has an office where you can seek out help on obtaining patents if you design something while you are here. This is their website and they have professional staff that you can seek counsel with
  • You can find more information about patents on the government websites. They have some very helpful frequently asked question pages.
  • The Library has a patents help page in their How do I section.And there is also some very good Queen's university patents tutorial made by Engineering & Science Librarian Michael White
  • And there are also books at the library that you can check out on patents as well.
  • So that’s the end of the presentation. Here is my contact information. If you ever have any questions regarding patents or finding information for assignments or research, literature reviews feel free to pop by my office. It is by all the reference materials, so if you stand by the photocopier and look to your right, you will look right into my office, or send me an email.


  • 1. Patent Searching
  • 2. Outline Patent Information Basics Copyrights and trademarks Patent information sources
  • 3. What is a patentA patent is a government grant giving inventors theexclusive right of making, using or selling an invention.In exchange, the inventor is expected to provide a fulldescription of the invention so that others can benefitfrom this advance.Source: (CIPO, 2011)http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/
  • 4. It is an exchange, where you must provide a fulldescription of the invention so that all Canadianscan benefit from this advance in technology andknowledge.People may then read about (though not make,use, or sell) your invention without yourpermission.
  • 5. What can be patented A patent is granted only for the physical embodiment of an idea (for example, the description of a possible door lock) or for a process that produces something tangible or that can be sold. You cannot patent a scientific principle, an abstract theorem, an idea, some methods of doing business, or a computer program.
  • 6. Example of patentable invention The invention can be: a) A product (e.g. A door lock) b) A composition (e.g. Chemical composition used in lubricants for door locks) c) An apparatus (e.g. A machine for making door locks) d) A process (e.g. A method for making door locks) e) Or an improvement on any of these
  • 7. Where do patents come from Inventors send patent applications to patent granting agencies. Here they are reviewed by patent examiners. Patents only apply to the country that the patent is granted in, so some inventions will have multiple patent numbers for the different countries where patents for that invention have been obtained.
  • 8. Where are patents from?Some major patent granting agencies: United States Patent and Trademark Organization http://www.uspto.gov Canadian Intellectual Property Office http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca European Patent Office (member states) http://worldwide.espacenet.com Japan Patent Office http://www.jpo.go.jp/
  • 9. Where are patents from?Free full-text online patent databases: WIPO Intellectual Property Digital Library http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/search/en/search.jsf Google Patents www.google.com/patents/ Free Patents Online http://www.freepatentsonline.com/
  • 10. Other Sources of Patent Information Patent Lens – another free patent search website http://www.patentlens.net/daisy/patentlens/patentlens.html Intellogist – some very useful free, online patent tools http://www.intellogist.com/wiki/Main_Page Links to Patent Offices around the World
  • 11. Canadian Patent Requirements Utility • The invention must work and it must have a practical purpose Novelty • You must be the original inventor and the invention must be the first of its kind in the world Inventiveness • must show inventive ingenuity and not be obvious to someone skilled in that area • For example, changes in size and substituting one materials are usually not patentable • Should strike an examiner in your field with the thought of “Why didn’t I think of that?”
  • 12. Characteristics of Patent Literature Based in government and legal constructs Highly technical Expensive (beyond Canada and the US) Complex structure Obscure classification system Computer based Employs its own terminology
  • 13. Challenges of patent searching For a comprehensive search, you cannot search by keyword only Searching by patent classification results in more accurate retrieval Patents are classified according to function (not subject), using a numerical system One patent is often classified under multiple classification numbers
  • 14. 43USPTO Class 43: Fishing,Trapping and Vermin Destroying 43/1 Miscellaneous 43/2 Decoys 43/3 . Duck 43/4 Fishing 43/6 . Harpoons 43/7 . Nets 43/9 .. Trawl 43/10 .. Gill 43/11 .. Dip
  • 15. Searching patents using only keywords can be painfulAccording to patent literature the Koosh ball is known as a“Generally spherical object with floppy filaments to promotesure capture” US 4,756,529
  • 16. Patent Classification Codes A better way to search for similar inventions US Patent Classification >>Class numbers and titles (list and definitions) http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/select numwithtitle.htm >>Search list for specific classification number http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/index. htm International Patent Classification (IPC) http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/en/
  • 17. Types of patents There are three main types of patents. The patent numbers differ so they can easily be differentiated Utility patents (e.g. 3,333,333) – an invention, a machine or process Design patents (e.g. D321456) – granted on the appearance of something; e.g. A chair with a pedestal instead of four legs. Plant patents (e.g. PP20235) – granted on bushes, trees, roses, etc that are reproduced asexually; e.g. A patentable part of a plant is its color, so a particular type or color of rose can be patented and protect from duplication by other horticulturalists (Wherry, 1995)
  • 18. Copyright & trademark Patents are not to be confused with copyright and trademarks copyrights provide protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs), and three other subject matter known as: performance, sound recording and communication signal a trade-mark is a word, symbol or design (or any combination of these) used to distinguish the wares or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace (CIPO, 2011)
  • 19. Keys to a comprehensive search Never search for patents by keyword alone Also search using the classification codes. These can also help you search patents across patent databases from different countries Look at the Field of search, which are the USPC codes consulted by the patent examiner during the prior art search in US patents e.g. Patent no. 7649183
  • 20. Patents at the U of SThe Industrial Liaison Office (ILO) is a departmentof the University of Saskatchewan created in 2004reporting to the Vice President Research. Onefunction of ILO is to commercialize intellectualproperty (e.g. inventions) arising from university-generated research.http://www.usask.ca/research/ilo/
  • 21. Finding more patent information USPTO Patent FAQs http://www.uspto.gov/patents/index.jsp CIPO Patent FAQs http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet- internetopic.nsf/eng/wr00141.html WIPO Patent FAQs http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/patents/
  • 22. Finding more patent information UofS Library’s How do I... Patents webpage http://library.usask.ca/howto/patents.php Queen’s University Patents Tutorials http://library.queensu.ca/research/guide/patent s/tutorials
  • 23. Finding more patent information Books at the Engineering Library Dulken, S. (2002) Introduction to patents information. (4th Ed.). London: The British Library Board. Wherry, T. L. (Ed.). (1995) Patent searching for librarians and inventors. Chicago: American Library Association. Hitchcock, D. (2007). Patent searching made easy: How to do patent searches on the internet and in the library. (4th Ed.). Morrisville, NC: www.lulu.com.
  • 24. Contact Info Cindy Ho, MLIS Engineering Liaison Librarian Room 1B08 Engineering Building Phone: (306) 966-5978 Email: cindy.ho@usask.ca