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Legal Research Guide

Find databases and websites important for legal research.

Treatises And Commentaries

Copyright Law

Patent Law

Trade Mark Law


What is a patent? 

A patent is a contract between the government and an inventor/s by which a legal right to the invention is granted in return for disclosing all details of the invention. For researchers, patents are an important source of scientific and technical information. Patents are often the earliest source of information on a new technology.

Why search Derwent Innovations Index?

  1. It is the most comprehensive database of patents for chemical, engineering and electrical and technical research
  2. Translates into English the key aspects of non-English language patents
  3. Includes patent family information which tracks the same invention through countries and any revisions
  4. Makes searching more effective by adding meaningful titles to the patent
  5. Provides detailed abstracts covering the novelty, claims, detailed description and technical focus
  6. Provides links to the full-text of most patents and therefore the original title of the patent
  7. Provides links to journal articles and patents that are related to the displayed patent

Searching Derwent Innovations index

  • If you are searching for a specific patent you may not be able to use the original title, as you are searching a Derwent enhanced title.
  • Patent number searching has a specific format. For example, to search for patent number WO 02/083181 you must use WO20028318
  • Includes classification codes which can be used to enhance searches for a specific category of inventions. Search aids are available for most classification codes near the search box or from Help.
  • Watch this video for more information on how to search Derwent innovations index.

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