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Patents: What is a patent?

About this guide

What is a patent?

A patent is a legal document giving the patent owner certain exclusive rights to his/her invention for a limited time.

Patents are an excellent source of information on new technology, trends in technological development, and specific products or innovations. 

About this guide

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Upcoming Patent Workshops

Intended for:

UCSD faculty and staff who would like to learn about the patenting process and how to search for patents on the web.


Patents are critically important in protecting intellectual property and companies are investing fortunes in them to safeguard their inventions.   It is estimated that between 2010 and 2012 in the smartphone industry alone, over $20 billion was spent on patent purchases and litigation.  Without the protection afforded by patent coverage, technological innovation would dry up.

 In this class, you will learn how patents protect your intellectual property and what rights they confer, what to expect in the patent application process, how to read and interpret patent documents, and why international patents matter. Learn how you can work with the UCSD Technology Transfer  Office to manage and protect your inventions. Finally, learn about free web search engines you can use to discover if your invention has already been patented.  Even if you don't have an invention on the drawing board, this class will give you valuable insight into how patents work.

Staff & faculty register through UC Learning Center.  Search on “patents” in the search box.

 Students contact  Dave Schmitt (





There are no patent workshops scheduled at this time. TBD Geisel Library, Classroom 1
(Main floor)



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Dave Schmitt
The UCSD Library


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