Skip to Main Content

Find Patents

What is a Patent?

What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

Source: World Intellectual Property Office. What is a patent? Retrieved May 5, 2017 from

Why are patents important?

Patents legally identify inventions as belonging to the inventor. Thus, patents are useful if:

  • You have invented something and want to make sure no one steals your idea. 
  • To make sure your own idea is original and that is, no one else has already invented it. 
  • To find information that does not exist elsewhere in scholarly publishing. 

Different Kinds of Patents

There are different kinds of patents for different types of innovation generally they fall under three categories:

  1. Utility Patent
  2. Design Patent
  3. Plant Patent

These definitions and more can be found at The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Obtaining a Patent

Some patents are available on the Web. You can order other patents through our Document Delivery service. Patents are not collected by Sexton Library.

Google Patents Search

Google Patent Search