Patent Info in the Library
Interested in patents? Check out our books on patents, trademarks and copyright.
The books listed in this guide will need to be requested online.
We have many databases with articles on patents. Some databases are only available to SFSU students, staff, and faculty.
What are patents?
Patents are a right granted by the government to a person or legal entity (partnership or corporation), to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention claimed in the patent for approximately 20 years. Patents are useful for studying trends in industries, finding out how items are made, and tracing the development of an invention. They often include useful reference lists.
There are 3 types of patents: utility, design, and plant patents. Any kind of useful device falls in the utility category. Inventors are required to file detailed plans and drawings describing how to make and use the item. Design patents protect the shape of the object, and are in effect for 14 years. Plant patents protect asexually reproducible plants. Patentable categories include products, processes, compositions, and methods of use. Patents are organized in a class/subclass scheme.
Official website of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: www.uspto.gov