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Evaluating Information

One of the most basic concepts in doing good research is evaluating the information you plan to use. This is something you likely do already in some form or another, though maybe you don’t think about.

This tutorial, through a series of videos, will provide a framework for thinking critically about all the information you encounter… or making yourself a nice lunch. Hopefully both.

Patents - Keyword Search

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Keyword searching can find patents where specific words are used in the patent document. You can search in the "full text", the entire patent, or in specific "fields," or parts of the patents.

Advantages: Keyword searches are quick and don't require highly specialized search skills. Keyword searches are also most appropriate for technology that does not easily fit into one classification.

Patent Number Searching

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Although patent numbers are often displayed in products or packaging, patent searchers will also encounter patent numbers regularly as they investigate "non-patent" literature, such as scientific and technical reports. Patent numbers are also commonly available and accessible when gathering information about products available for sale or use in industry.

What is a Patent?

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A patent is an official document securing to an inventor for a term of years the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants, on behalf of the Federal government, utility patents, design patents and plant patents. No other agency or jurisdiction can grant patents in the United States.

A patent is similar to a real estate title in two ways. First, it confers ownership of the invention. Second, it describes the invention in very precise terms. These terms are referred to as "claims".