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Patent Searching: Introduction to Patents


Patent Resources for Simmons University Inventors


This guide will help you find information on:

- Search tips for how to find patents.

- Free patent resources.

- Access to ebooks.


eBooks about Patents

Noteworthy ebooks accessable via the Simmons Library


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Jen Goldberg

What are Patents?

As defined by the U.S. Patent Office:

- A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or country of origin.

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. 

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

Types of Patents

As defined by the U.S Patent Office: 

Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;
Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and
Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.