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This guide provides information on searching for U.S. and non-U.S. patents.


U.S. patent rights are based on Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which states that the Congress “shall have power ... to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to … inventors the exclusive right to their … discoveries.”

The patent laws enacted pursuant to this clause of the U.S. Constitution provide that “whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title” (35 U.S.C. § 101).

Simply stated, a patent is a legal document, issued by a government agency, giving the owner (or owners) certain exclusive rights to their invention for a limited time.  These rights include selling or assigning the patent to someone else.

This guide provides access to patent finding aids and tutorials, U.S. patent databases, non-U.S. patent databases, and patent books in the collections of the UAlbany libraries.