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ME 386W- Engineering Design: The Methods

A guide for the Mechanical Engineering junior level writing course

About Patents

A patent is a legal document giving the patent owner certain exclusive rights to their invention for a limited time. Patents are an excellent source of information on new technology, trends in technological development, and specific products or innovations. Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States. Like standards, patents may be difficult to read and find because of their specific vocabulary - in the case of patents, it's a legal vocabulary that can also be highly technical.

Find out more about patents in the Information Literacy Basics for CEIAS Students tutorial.

How to Search for Patents

Patents Databases

This video from the Purdue Northwest Library will walk you through the basics of searching for patents in Google Patents. 

Government agency resources

  • OSHA Law & Regulations