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Engineering: IP & Patents


Patents deal with inventions producing a technical result - of new and improved products, processes and uses that are capable of industrial application. Patents are a vital source of technical information, and can save time spent on duplicated research. 

“A patent confers upon its holder, for a limited period, the right to exclude others from exploiting (making, using, selling, importing) the patented invention, except with the consent of the owner of the patent…. Patents are territorial, in effect e.g. an Irish patent is only valid in Ireland…. Irish patents, in common with most jurisdictions, have a maximum life span of twenty years.”


Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is the product of someone's mental effort in creating something new, for example, a design, a formula, an invention - the things you write, make or produce. Once these ideas are made public/published, they can be read, discussed and /or copied by others. There is nothing wrong with that as dissemination of ideas stimulates further creativity.

Copyright, Geographical Indications, Industrial Designs, Patents, Brand Names or Trademarks are all part of Intellectual Property. You get some types of protection automatically, others you have to apply for.

for fuller description on each of the above click here.  Copyright WIPO

Patent databases

Derwent Innovations IndexSM (2007-present)

Value-added patent information from Derwent World Patent Index® as well as patent citation information from Patents Citation Index®.
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  • Use patent data to protect your ongoing work, discover the latest technological advances, monitor competitors’ progress, and formulate fresh ideas for research
  • Get a comprehensive overview of inventions in the global marketplace in all categories: chemical, electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineering
  • Patent coverage to 1963; citations to 1973

Help can be found on the homepage of the databases. There is help for using both the Issued Patents and Published Applications databases.

USPTO also provides a Patent Alert service. If you register, this service will send you information about new patents matching your subject area.