Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UMass Amherst Libraries

Patents and Trademarks

USPTO Patent Resources

Booklet  General Information Concerning Patents - 2014 pdf

USPTO page on types of patent applications/proceedings

U.S. Patent Number codes  For example A1, B2, E, etc. Created by librarian Michael White.

How to cite a patent 

IEEE style:

Author(s)/Inventor(s). “Name/Title.” Country where patent is registered. Patent number, date.

E.E. Rebecca. “Alternating current fed power supply.” U.S. Patent 7,897,777, Nov. 3, 1987.

Patents and Patentability Tutorial - University of Minnesota Libraries (2015)

Types of U.S. Patents


There are three types of U.S Patents:

Utility - new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or useful improvement thereof (what something does for example an ipod)

Design - new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture (how something looks like the Coca-Cola Bottle)

Plant - asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant (for example the Hydrangea named "Limelight")

USPTO Patent Data

Plant Patents

Although plant patents can be searched on the USPTO website, color photographs of the plants are only available in print at a PTRC.