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Patents: Getting Started

A guide to help ASU students find patent information including what is a patent, the different sections of a patent, how to do a prior art search, where to find statistics and other sources of patent information.

Legal Notice

This Library Guide is an educational tool for ASU's science/engineering students and does not constitute legal advice. 

Employees of the ASU Libraries cannot provide legal advice for the patent application process nor for patentability searching.

The State Library:
Arizona's Patent & Trademark
Resource Center

Are you a citizen of Arizona looking for assistance and/or information about patents and trademarks? 

The State Library of Arizona is designated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as the Patent and Trademark Resource Center for the state of Arizona.  

The Patent and Trademark Resource Center is part of the State Library's Federal Publications Collection located in the 1938 Addition to Arizona's Capitol and is available during the Library's business hours. The Reference Desk is located on the third floor in Suite 300.   

Phone:   (602) 926-3870 or
(800) 228-4710 (Arizona only)

E-mail:   research@azlibrary.gov

See also the State Library's 
Guide to Patents.


A patent is a government grant bestowing certain property rights on the inventor; these rights usually permit the inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention.

US Patent #8100451
Multi-fingered Robot Hand

 This guide is an introduction to patents for ASU science and engineering students. 

Table of Contents

 This guide is divided into sections designated by the TABs across the top of this page.  The contents of these sections include:

About Patents
Explains the 3 main types of patents that the United States issues; breaks down the different sections of a patent and what each section contains. International patents are briefly covered as well.  Links are provided to where more detailed information is available on the United States Patent and Trademark and the European Patent Office websites. 

ASU Patent/IP Information
Links to information for ASU faculty and researchers

Famous Inventors and Inventions
Links to information about famous inventors and inventions

Finding Patents 
Instructions for finding patents using free web-based resources.  Find out how to search by:

Links to definitions for terms frequently used in the patenting process

Links to statistical data for patenting activities in Arizona, U.S. and Internationally 

Where to Find ...
Not sure where to go to find the information you need?   This page links you to the major patent databases plus directs you to where all types of patent information is available     

Your Librarians

Linda Shackle
Engineering and Construction
Room 130E Noble Library
Tempe campus

Sam Dyal
Engineering and Computing
Room 130D Noble Library
Tempe campus

Jenny Mueller-Alexander
Applied Engineering, Business
Room 38 CNTR
Polytechnic campus

Ellen Welty
Applied Sciences, Aviation
Room 36 CNTR
Polytechnic campus

Arizona State University Libraries

ASU Libraries

Arizona State University
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287
Phone: 480-965-3605

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