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Engineering: Standards and Patents

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Engineering and Learning Technologies Librarian

SciTech Standards on Demand

SciTech Standards on Demand

The SciTech Standards on Demand Guide outlines what a standard is and is not, how to find standards already owned by the library, freely available standards, and how to request a purchase of a standard that cannot be found with the other methods.


What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention that has been granted by the government, typically for a 20-year duration. It is a type of intellectual property that gives inventors the legal authority to exclude entities from making, selling, or using the invention throughout the term of the patent. Patents must be filed in each country where protection is sought, and the application process may vary.

There are three types of U.S. patents:

Utility - is used for manufactures, machines, compositions or matter, and processes. 
Design - obtained to protect the appearance of an invention rather than function. 
Plant - is acquired for new and distinct varieties of asexually reproduced plants.


World Intellectual Property Organization

"WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. The WIPO IP Portal is an all-inclusive resource for global IP services."

Free Patents Online

From the website, "FPO is home to the world's most popular patent search engine – a fast, easy-to-use, and reliable service used by 100's of millions world-wide since 2004. FPO is the crown jewel in the SumoBrain Solutions (SBS) ecosystem of web properties and professional services."


Available in both German and English, this is for people who are not yet experts at navigating patents and students and universities. Large searches must be paid for, but small ones are free.

European Patent Office

Information about searching, applying for, and learning about patents in Europe. The site content can be accessed in several different languages.

Espacenet – patent search

Free patent search engine that provides access to over 140 million patent documents from around the world.

The Lens - Free & Open Patent and Scholarly Search

Serves integrated scholarly and patent knowledge as a public good to inform science and technology enabled problem solving.


Standards Resources 

ASM Materials Information

ASM Materials Information Online includes access to ASM Handbooks, ASM Micrograph Center, and ASM Failure Analysis Center. All handbooks and centers are full-text editions of the printed materials and searchable by keyword within each center/handbook or across all data. Diagrams, tables, case histories, and high-resolution photographs are included in the database. Note: ASM Alloy Center and ASM Alloy Phase Diagrams Center are not part of the subscribed package though they are listed in the resource. Dates of Coverage: Current

American National Standards Institute

"As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment." - From the ANSI website

The cost is listed under each standard after a search is conducted.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Part of the Department of Commerce, NIST is a federal agency that promotes technology and standards.

Examples of Use of Codes and Standards for Students in Mechanical Engineering

ASME Standards & Certification

IEEE Standards University

Classes, workshops, e-zines, student grants, news, etc.

Offers background materials and useful links for locating information about the use of standards in government. The primary focus is on federal agency use of standards for regulatory and procurement purposes.

Additional Links