American patents are filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The most common, meant for "process, machine, article of manufacture, compositions of matter, or any new useful improvement thereof" (USPTO Patent FAQ). Duration of a patent for applications marked June 8, 1995 and after, begins on the date of the grant and ends 20 years from date of application, as long as maintenance fees have been paid.
To register "a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture" (USPTO Patent FAQ). Duration is 14 years from the date the patent was granted, no maintenance fees required. Design patent numbers start with a D.
To register the creation of new "asexually reproduced plant varieties" (USPTO Patent FAQ). Duration of a patent for applications marked June 8, 1995 and after, begins on the date of the grant and ends 20 years from date of application. No maintenance fees required. Plant patent numbers start with a P.
A useful tutorial on how to read a patent: "Patents and Patentability" (created by the UMN Libraries).
Patent: Wildman, J.R. (1981, December 29). U.S. Patent No. D262,473. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
To find patents and patent applications, a good first step is the government body responsible. However, as these databases can be tricky to use and the information they provide is free, there are a number of free services that aim to make patent searching a bit easier. Stevens students, faculty and staff can also find patents in Scopus, one of the Library's subscription databases.
Log into Okta if prompted.
Both of these libraries are open to the public, meaning you can use certain resources without a library card. We recommend checking their web sites for hours of availability and directions.
IEEE (from IEEE Editorial Style Manual):
J. K. Author, “Title of patent,” U.S. Patent x xxx xxx, Abbrev. Month, day, year.
J. P. Wilkinson, “Nonlinear resonant circuit devices,” U.S. Patent 3 624 125, July 16, 1990.
Note: Use “issued date” if several dates are given.
APA 7 (from Scribbr)
Inventor Last Name, Initials. (Year Of Patent Issue). Patent Identifier No.. State, city: Patent Office Name.
Bell, A. G. (1876). U.S. Patent No. 174,465. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
ACS (from The ACS Style Guide, Ch. 14: References)
Patent Owner 1; Patent Owner 2; etc. Title of Patent. Patent Number, Date.
Sheem, S. K. Low-Cost Fiber Optic Pressure Sensor. U.S. Patent 6,738,537, May 18, 2004.