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ENGT Capstone Research Guide

Highlighted resources for ENGT 480 & 481 students

Selected Purdue Libraries Databases

Writing a Literature Review


What is a Patent? (from: Purdue Libraries Patent Guide)

"A patent is a property right granted by a government agency (in the United States, it's the US Patent & Trademark Office) for a novel, useful, and non-obvious invention. Patent protection lasts twenty years from the filing date and allows the inventor or their assignee to exclude other people from making, using, selling, or importing an invention."

Patent literature is a rich source of information for engineering design.

Patents searches are often conducted for one of three reasons:

  1. to locate detailed technical information not available elsewhere;
  2. for patentability purposes, to start to determine if an invention is "novel" by assessing whether it is covered by an existing patent;
  3. to determine the "state of the art" in a given area of technology -- get design inspiration!

Effective patent searching involves more than using keywords.
Save time and maximize your success by completing this module:

Public & Free Sources

Patents Databases (Purdue users only):

More Resources Available:

Google - Advanced Search Techniques

Make the most out of your Google searches!

Search operators are words that can be added to searches to help narrow down the results. Don’t worry about memorizing every operator, because you can also use the Advanced Search page to create these searches.

Operator How to use it
site: Get results from certain sites or domains.
Examples: olympics and olympics
related: Find sites that are similar to a web address you already know.
OR Find pages that might use one of several words.
Example: marathon OR race
info: Get information about a web address, including the cached version of the page, similar pages, and pages that link to the site.
cache: See what a page looks like the last time Google visited the site.

Note: When you search using operators or punctuation marks, don't add any spaces between the operator and your search terms. A search for will work, but site: won't.

(Information on this page from: Google Search Help - Search Operators)