"A patent is an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application." (WIPO)
Recommended Patent Resources
European Patent Organization contains 4 databases of patent records from around the world. Includes U.S. patents after the 1820.
Derwent Innovations Index (Clarivate)
Patent research application that provides access to globally trusted, curated patent intelligence and scientific literature. Can perform substance searches.
Fast way to retrieve a PDF of a U.S. patent using a patent number.
Canadian Patent Database
Provide users with extensive information on Canadian patent documents from 1920 to present.
European Publication Server
European Patent Office patent applications and granted patents.
Covers U.S. (1976+), European, Japanese, and worldwide patents.
Patent Lens searches the full text of patents from the U.S., Australia, Europe, and worldwide.
Searches >7 million unique chemical structures in complete full text collections of US, European and WO/PCT patents.
Contains a wiki-like interface to review, rate, and discuss patents -- plus free patent PDF downloads, file histories, and advanced patent searching.
Searches >10 million international patent documents.