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Computer Science


A patent protects a process or invention. It ensures that the owner has the sole right to make, use, or sell, or grant permission to others to do so. In return for this protection, the inventor must disclose technical details of the invention which are published by national Patent Offices.

Patents are a vital source of technical information and can also be a useful source of information about a company for prospective careers.

There are several databases you can search to find patents:

How to search for patents

You can search for patents using:

  • Keyword(s) 
  • Patent number
  • Classification code

Classification codes are used to group patents by type of technical information:

  • IPC (WIPO) - International classification; 
  • CPC - Cooperative Patent Classification (extended IPC); 
  • UKC - UK classification (before 2007).

Searching Web of Science for patents

Useful Patent Office information