- A patent is a legal document granted to you by the Government of Canada.
- A patent confirms your exclusive right to your invention for up to 20 years!.
- A patented invention can be a product, a composition, a machine, a process or an improvement to any of these.
- A patent gives you a competitive edge since it can help protect your invention.
- A patent can help prevent others from using your invention.
- A patent can help negotiate financing options.
- A patent can help license your invention to others.
- A patent can ultimately be sold to other by the patent holder/owner.
- Your invention can become a patent if it is new, useful and inventive.
Why search for patent literature?
- To find out about the most recent inventions
- Identify new research fronts
- To study the development of a particular technology
- To figure out licensing opportunities
- To avoid duplication of research efforts and save time and resources
- To learn how something works via patent diagrams and detailed descriptions
- To find information on a company’s activities (new inventions and growth areas)
- To identify experts in a given field
- To gain protection for an idea or invention if it doesn’t already exist
- Most firms/companies only disclose technical information regarding their products/technologies only in Patents
Challenges of Patent Literature:
- Patents don't describe inventions as they appear in the market (for example: patents don't include product names).
- Patents may cover broader concepts and they don't specify the final packaging, detailing, manufacturing processes, trademarked names, and other aspects of products.
- As a result of this, searching patents by names of products, rarely provides a direct path to the invention in question.
- Final product names are often determined long after patents are filed (trademarks rather than patents protect product names).
- In addition, the final product may be an amalgamation of several patents.
- Patents can be difficult to read as they are legal documents and usually written with many legal jargon.
- Some patents lack specifications, technical standards, or other types of descriptive content.
- While patent applications are subject to examination by patent examiners, they do not employ a peer-review scientific process. As such, patents are not required to demonstrate a proof of success through experiments and processes usually associated with scientific research.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office - CIPO. (2020). Patents. Retrieved from: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr00001.html
MIT Libraries. (2020). Patents Guide. Retrieved from: https://libguides.mit.edu/patents