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Patents & Trademarks

patent information for researcher and entrepreneurs, including free and PSU-only sources

How to cite

Patent and Design Numbers

Patents and designs are often identified and cited by their numbers, which are composed of three elements:

  1. Country code
  2. Serial number
  3. Publication kind code

For example, in CA 2821077 (A1),

  • CA is the country code for Canada
  • 2821077 is the serial number
  • A1 is the kind code for a published application

Citing Patents and Designs

The format for citing a patent will vary depending on the style guide or journal guidelines. Below are a few examples.

ACS Style

Inventor(s). Title of Patent. Country x,xxx,xxx, Month, day, year.

Santerre, P. J. Fluoroligomer Surface Modifiers for Polymers and Articles Made Therefrom. Canadian Patent 2,228,505 C, November 11, 2007

IEEE Style

Inventor(s), "Title of patent," Country x,xxx,xxx, Month, day, year.

C. Deguire and L. J. Caron L'Ecuyer, "Portable robotic arm," Canadian Patent Appl. 2,739,727 A1, April 15, 2010.

ISO Style (ISO 690:2010)

Deguire C, Caron L'Ecuyer LJ, inventors; Kinova, assignee. Portable robotic arm. CA patent appl. 2,739,727 A1. 2010 Apr. 15.

Citing patents is important, especially when referenced in your research. For a guide to citing patents in various citation styles, visit The Patent Search Information website.