Patent information is the technical and legal information contained in patent documents that are published periodically by patent offices. A patent document includes the full description of how a patented invention works and the claims which determine the scope of protection as well as details on who patented the invention, when it was patented and reference to relevant literature. About two-thirds of the technical information revealed in patents is never published elsewhere and the entire set of patent documents worldwide includes approximately 40 million items. This makes patent information the single most comprehensive collection of classified technological data.
What are the advantages of patent documents as a source of information?
- They contain information which is often not divulged in any other form of literature.
- They have a relatively standardized format including an abstract, bibliographic information, a description of, and in most cases also drawings illustrating the invention and full details on the applicant.
- They are classified according to technical fields
- They provide examples of industrial applicability of an invention.
- They cover practically every field of technology.
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