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Searching the patent literature is not a simple task. However, the UCSD Library has created a patent searching guide that will walk you through the basics steps you need to get started, as well as for advanced patent searching.
Derwent Innovations Index
Index to worldwide patents in all subject areas from more than 40 patent-issuing bodies. Derwent’s enhanced indexing, abstracting and coding allow for targeted and comprehensive searching. Patent citation information is also included, enabling cited patent searching to discover what newer inventions have cited a given patent document. UCSD affiliate access only.