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Frequently Asked Questions

Why was this database developed and by whom? break
DOepatents was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) to demonstrate the Department's contribution to scientific progress in the physical sciences and other disciplines.
What can I find in DOepatents?

DOepatents contains issued patents funded by DOE through a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or similar type of funding mechanism. Identification of patents to include is primarily based on a customized search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). USPTO includes newly issued patents in its database, making the patent application, full text, and other descriptive information accessible to the public. New USPTO content is examined by OSTI, looking at specific information/metadata including the research organizations involved, sponsoring organizations, patent assignees, and contract numbers to determine if there is DOE funding. If DOE-funded research helped lead to the issued patent, then citation information and a link to the issued patent record is added to the DOepatents collection.

These DOE-funded issued patent records are also discoverable in OSTI.GOV, the primary search tool for DOE-funded science, technology, and engineering research information. In addition, OSTI.GOV contains issued patents of interest to DOE researchers, funded by other organizations, some issued international patents, and a small number of patent applications. To learn more about these records, please see the OSTI.GOV FAQs.

How many patents are in this collection? Does the collection include all of DOE's patents?
This collection is growing as we continue to identify historic DOE patents, and to add ones recently issued. Currently, there are more than 35,000 searchable patent records here.
Does this collection include the full text for each patent?

The availability of the full text is indicated in the "Full Text" column at the far right of the search results screen. For some patents, the full text is available directly from our database. Additionally, there are many records that contain links to the full text of the patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Certain plug-ins may be required for viewing full-page images at USPTO for patents granted prior to 1976. See How to Access Full-Page Images for more information.

What time frame is covered by DOepatents?
This collection demonstrates the Department's considerable contribution to scientific progress from the 1940's to today.
How often is this collection and Web site updated?
This collection is updated quarterly with new patent records. The Web site is updated on a regular basis with news and information about significant and recent inventions.
Does the U.S. Government have exclusive rights to these inventions?
Some of these inventions are government-owned. Many are owned by other research organizations or partners. Rights information is provided in the assignee field.
What is OSTI?
The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program within the Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. Since 1947, OSTI and its early predecessors have been nationally recognized for contributions to the sharing and exchange of science information. Please see About OSTI for additional information.
Where can I find information about doing business with DOE?
You can find information about doing business with DOE by visiting this Web site:
How can I find additional information on the patenting process?
For information on the patenting process, please visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at
Where can I find patents that are not related to DOE?
USPTO maintains a searchable database of patent full text from 1976 forward, and full-page patent images from 1790 forward.

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