Finding patents

Finding patents

A patent is an exclusive legal right granted by the government for a new invention. No-one else may commercialise this idea for up to 20 years if patented.

Types of patents:

  • Utility Patents: Processes, machines, manufactures, composition of matter, new and useful improvements of existing ideas
  • Plant Patents: Asexually reproduced, distinct and new varieties of plants
  • Design Patents: Ornamental designs and changing of designs

Patents contain a vast wealth of unique ideas and information.

“Over 80 % of the world’s technical knowledge can now be found in patent documents”

(European patents and the grant procedure, retrieved Feb 2012 from http://www.epo.org/service-support/publications/procedure/european-patents.html)