Patent searching is tricky! So here are a few resources (in addition to your text and your librarians!) that will help you find the information that you need.
For the STS 1500, you'll be working on a Preliminary Patent Application as your research project.
For that, you're going to be doing a lot of patent research. The following is a more in-depth overview of resources to get you started.
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This resource includes over 80 million patents from around the world that span inventions from 1836 to present. It's very straightforward to use but are a few support materials:
Searches through patents available through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). U.S. Patents date back to 1790, and international patents to 1978.
This is one of the library's databases. It's a great resource for U.S. Code, constitution, and court cases. It also includes a patent search that includes U.S. and international patents. If you haven't used LexisNexis before there a text tutorial and a video tutorial available.
This is a fantastic resource for patent searching. This platform allows you to search patents by a variety of facets, shows links from patents to scholarly materials, shows patent family information, and allows you to create graphics. For specific information on using Patent Lens, there is a tutorial page.
The goal of patent lens to create an open resource for innovation cartography. As a result, this resource include patents from around the world as well as scholarly and technical literature, business data, and regulatory information. Patent information included is from the European Patents (1907 to Present) and Grants (1980 to Present), Australian Patents in Full Text, USPTO Applications (2001 to Present) Grants (1976 to Present), Assignments in Full Text, and the WIPO Applications (1987 to Present).
Includes U.S. Patents from 1790 to Present. Tips for using the various search options and accessing full page images are available on the Help Page.
A patent application database from the World Intellectual Property Organization that include over 37 million international patent applications. Detailed coverage information and tutorials are included.