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Aerospace Engineering

Finding Patents

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor that allows him or her to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing an invention.

The invention can be a product (a towel), a composition (a chemical substance used in fabrics for a towel), an apparatus (a machine for making towels), a process (a method of making towels) or an improvement to any of these.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office explains that searching patent documents can help you:

  • Identify trends and developments
  • Discover new product lines
  • Find information that prevents duplication of research
  • Identify unproductive avenues of enquiry
  • Keep track of the work of a particular individual or company
  • Find a solution to a technical problem
  • Gain new ideas for research in a particular field

Key resources can be found below. For more resources and details on patent searching, contact your librarian or see the Patents Research Guide.

Key Resources

  • is a public patent database indexing over 100 million patent documents from over 95 different jurisdictions. Links patents to the scholarly literature as well. 

How to Search for Standards and Patents