Materials for Engineers: Other Sources

Materials and Patents

Patents are government-issued documents which protect an inventor's intellectual property while enabling the general public to benefit from innovations.  Materials as well as assemblies and products which use materials may be patented.  Therefore, patents can provide valuable background information on materials as well as assist in determining the existence or uniqueness of a material you are working on.

The Patents databases enable searching on patent title, body text, inventor, assignee, and other fields although proprietary product names are rarely featured except as references to other patents.

One way to screen for patents that reference primarily a material is to search on the patent classification system numbers.  U.S. patents are classified by both the U.S. Patent Classification Codes and International Class Codes; many patents are assigned multiple codes.  Materials are referenced throughout the U.S. Classification System but many are in section 500, starting with 501 Compositions: ceramic.  In the International Patent Classification System (IPC), many patents related to materials are in Class C.  As an example, a patent awarded to Tufts University in 2010 for an invention developed by researchers in the Biomedical Engineering department, Silk fibroin materials and use thereof (U.S. Patent Number 7842780), is U.S. Classification numbers 530/324 ; 252/1; 435/402; 435/404

Other Sources

Useful information is also found in the following:

Professional Organizations And Associations


Subjects: Engineering
  • Last Updated: Apr 2, 2024 8:35 AM
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