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Ask A Librarian

CS & EE 796

Information for new graduate students in Lane College

What is a Patent?

A patent is a legal document giving the patent owner certain exclusive rights to his/her invention for a limited time.  U. S. patents are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Patents are an excellent source of information on new technology, trends in technological development, and specific products or innovations.

Citing Patents in ACS Style

Minimally, ACS requires the name of the patent owner(s), the patent number, and date.  Here is a template:

Patent Owner 1; Patent Owner 2; etc. Title of Patent. Patent Number, Date.

Here are some examples:

Bernson, S.W. Conversion of Methane. U.S. Patent 4,199,533, April 22, 1980.

Gordon, A.Z.; Rossof, A.H. Methods for Treating Leukopenia with Tertiary Amines or Quaternary Ammonium Salts. U.S. Patent 5,466,509, 1987

Stern, M. K.; Cheng, B. K. M. (Monsanto Co., USA). Process for preparing N-(p-nitroaryl)amides via reaction of nitrobenzene with nitriles. US Patent 5,380,946, 1995; SciFinder Scholar AN 1995:354698 (accessed 2/2/08).

Finding U.S. Patents

Patents at WVU

As a U.S. Patent and Trademark Depository Library, the Evansdale Library receives current copies of U.S. Patents and provides access to USPTO patent and trademark databases. All the tools necessary to perform a preliminary patent or trademark search are available in the library.

The CASSIS database is available for searching patents and trademarks. The DVDs used in conjunction with this database include:
USAPAT      Utility, Design and Plant Patents 1790-present
USAApp      Patent Application files 2001- present
USAMark     Trademarks issued 1870-present

The PubWEST (Web-based Search Tool) as provided in the Public Search Facility (PSF) in Alexandria, Virginia is available by appointment with the Patent Librarian.

Other formats include:

  • Utility Patents: Paper holdings:     
    • Specifications and drawings of patents issued from the United States Patent Office with gaps in holdings, 1871-?     
    • Microfilm Cassettes 1972-1999
  • Design Patents: Microfilm Cassettes 1992-1999.
  • Plant Patents in color from 1931 to present:
    Microfiche holdings 1931 to 1997.
    Paper holdings Nov. 1994 to present.

If you have questions about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Depository Library, contact: Marian Armour-Gemmen at: or (304) 293-9758

Finding International Patents