A patent is a legal document granted by a government to an inventor, giving them the exclusive right make, use, sell or licence their invention. Patents are granted for a fixed period of time (usually 20 years) and are usually first taken out in their country of origin but can be granted in more than one country. Patents are granted to an industrial processes or to significant improvements to existing ones and to new products including chemical compounds, foods and drugs.
If you have a novel idea but you're not sure what steps to take next to protect it, contact the Invent DCU Intellectual Property and Commercialisation Team as early as possible in your research.
Format of a patent application by the Irish Patents Office. See sample PDFs at end of section for agricultural, chemical, engineering, and telecommunications specifications.
See also: How to apply for a patent (Ireland)
Espacenet offers free access to information about inventions and technical developments from the 1836 to present. You can also search individual National Patent Office databases eg. Ireland. Here's an introductory video.
Search Patentscope by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for full-text of patent documents and Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications. "By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in [152 contracting states]" (WIPO.int, 2017) Click here for info. on coverage
Free Patents Online provides access to US patents, US patent applications, European patent (EP) documents, Abstracts and patent documents of Japan, WIPO documents (including PCT applications). More coverage information here; broadly: US 1976-, EP 1978-, WIPO 1978-, Japan 1991- Register for a free account for added value options.
Google Patents includes 87 million+ patent publications from 17 patent offices. More info. on coverage
A complete, up-to-date collection of US patents and patent applications from 1790. Patents before 1976 can only be searched by patent number, year or classification.
Available to us via IReL. Covers US, European, WIPO and Asian organic chemistry patents 1976-. Includes Asian-language patents from China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Please note: you will need to log in using your DCU username and password.
Available to us via IReL (you will need to access via the Library website and create our own (free) user account here) Search for specific patents in chemistry and related sciences: proteomics; genomics; biochemistry; biochemical genetics; organic; macromolecular; applied physical; inorganic; analytical.