This is the "What is a patent?" page of the "Patents" guide.
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Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

What is a patent? Print Page

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

This guide will lead you to information on


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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  Susan Shepherd

 Note: Registration is not yet open for some of the following classes.  Contact Susan Shepherd or Dave Schmitt for information.




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Geisel Library, Room 274

November 4, 2014      

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Geisel Library, Room 274

February 12, 2015

10:00 pm – noon

Geisel Library, Room 274

May 13, 2015

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Geisel Library, Room 274

August 11, 2015

10:00 pm – noon

Geisel Library, Room 274



Contact Me

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Susan Shepherd
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Science & Engineering Librarian
Academic Liaison Program
9500 Gilman Drive #0699
La Jolla, CA 92017-0699
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