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Frequently Asked Questions


General FAQs


What is DOepatents?

DOepatents, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), is a searchable database of patent information resulting from DOE-funded research and development (R&D).


What does DOepatents contain?

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). 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. For more information about DOepatents metadata, please see "What is bibliographic data/metadata related to patents?" 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 comprehensive and continuously grows as we continue to identify historic DOE patents and add ones recently issued by USPTO. Currently, there are almost 40,000 searchable patent records here.


Does this collection include the full text for each patent?

If the full text is available, it will be indicated with a "Full Text Available" link in the bottom right corner of each record on the search results screen. For some patents, the full text is hosted by OSTI and 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). The "Full Text Available" link will direct the user to either the OSTI hosted version or the USPTO hosted version.

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 contribution to scientific progress from the 1940's to today.


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 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), a unit of the Office of Science, fulfills agency-wide responsibilities to collect, preserve, and disseminate both unclassified and classified scientific and technical information (STI) emanating from DOE-funded research and development (R&D) activities at DOE national laboratories and facilities and at universities and other institutions nationwide. OSTI provides access to DOE STI through a suite of web-based, searchable discovery tools and through other commonly used search engines, offering ever-expanding sources of R&D information to DOE, the research community, and the science-attentive public. 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: http://management.energy.gov/business_DOE.htm.


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 www.uspto.gov.


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.



How do I search DOepatents?

DOepatents works much like a Google search, where you can enter your terms into the basic search box to retrieve results. You can search for a single term or phrase by putting in "double quotes." Additionally, DOepatents supports Boolean and proximity operators, wildcards, and parentheses for grouping:

Boolean Operators

DOepatents recognizes the operators AND, OR, and NOT.

Example: A search for water AND "climate change" will return results that include both the term water and the phrase climate change.

Example: A search for water OR "climate change" will return results that include either the term water or the phrase climate change.

Example: A search for water NOT "climate change" will return results that include the term water but not the phrase climate change.

+ and - allow for a search to either be required or forbidden in the search results.

Example: A search for energy +water will return results that include the term energy and also include the term water.

Example: A search for energy -water will return results that include the term energy but not the term water.

Proximity Operators

Example: "nuclear energy"~3 will return results where nuclear and energy are within three words of each other in the bibliographic record.

Parentheses for Grouping

Example: A search for water AND ("climate change" OR energy) will return results that include both the term water and either the phrase climate change or the term energy.


How do I use the Advanced Search?

The advanced search will allow you to perform more complex searches, offering you a number of fields, such as Title, Inventor, Patent Number, or Issue Date to help you refine your search results.

All Fields
Searches all bibliographic data and the full text of the journal article.
Patent Title
Searches only the titles of patents.
Abstract
Searches the patent abstract.
Assignee
Searches the name of the person or entity who owns the patent.
Inventor(s)
Searches all inventor name(s), including ORCID if available.
Patent Number
Searches only the number assigned by the USPTO to applications that have issued as patents.
Patent Application Number
Searches only the number assigned by the USPTO to applications assigned a filing date.
Contract Number
Searches the DOE award number under which the invention was either partially or fully funded.
Subject
Searches both the standardized subject categories and keywords associated with the patent.
Research Org
Searches the name(s) of the organization(s) that was funded and performed the research leading to the patent.
Sponsoring Org
Searches the name(s) of the DOE program office(s) that provided the funding for the research leading to the patent.
Issue Date
Searches for patents issued within a specific time frame. Select the starting date or ending date from the drop down calendar OR type MM/DD/YYYY, e.g. 01/01/2014.

Example:

Issued from: 01/01/2014 retrieves all patents published on or after 1/1/2014.
Issued to: 01/01/2014 retrieves all patents published on or before 1/1/2014

How do I search by inventor?

You may use the basic search box to search by an inventor's full name (using quotations for phrase searching), inventor last name, or ORCID. Additionally, there is a field on the advanced search screen that allows you to search by name or ORCID in combination with any other advanced search field.


What is Bibliographic data/metadata related to scholarly publications?

Bibliographic data/metadata is information unique to and descriptive of a particular document. Basic bibliographic data for patents includes the title, inventor(s), assignee, patent number, and issue date. This metadata improves online search and retrieval, and helps ensure preservation of a patent. Below is a list of the metadata that OSTI collects and that is searchable in DOepatents, with those that can be searched using the advanced search fields indicated with an asterisk(*):

Title*- The title of the patent

Abstract- A brief summary of the patented invention

Inventor(s)*- The inventor(s) of the patent

Issue Date*- The date the patent was officially issued by the USPTO

OSTI ID*- The unique identifier assigned by OSTI upon article submission

Assignee*- The name of the individual or entity to whom ownership of the patent was assigned and the time of patent issue

Patent Number(s)*- The unique number(s) assigned to applications that have issued as patents

Application Number- The identifying number assigned by the USPTO to applications who received a filing date

Contract Number*- The DOE contract number under which the patent research was conducted

Resource Relation- The date the application was filed with the USPTO

Research Org*- The name(s) of the organization(s) that performed the research that led to the invention

Sponsoring Org*- The name(s) of the DOE program office(s) that provided the funding for the research that led to the invention

Subject*- Words or phrases that describe the invention as summarized in the patent. This includes subject categories picked from a standard authority list.

Country of Publication- The country in which the patent was issued

Language- The language in which the patent was issued


Can I change how my search results are displayed? What is the difference between the "Basic results view" and the "Detailed results view"?

Yes. At any time, you can change how your results are displayed by selecting the "Switch to..." link at the top right of the search results screen. The Basic view will display the title, inventor(s), abstract, and issue date in a list format. The Detailed view will display fields of your choosing in a more compact, tabular format. The Detailed view allows for extensive customization of the results display.


Can I sort or filter my results?

Yes, you may filter your results by Inventor on the left side of the search results screen. Sort options on the search results page include sorting by relevance or by patent issue date. Sort options can be found on the top right of the search results screen.


Can I save or download the results of a search?

Yes. If the item is available electronically, a "Full Text Available" link in the bottom right corner of each record on the search results screen.

You may also save the bibliographic/metadata information for a set of results as an Excel, CSV, or XML file from the left side of the search results screen.

From an individual bibliographic/metadata details page you can export the metadata to Endnote or save it in RIS, Excel, CSV, or XML format from the right side of the details page. You also have the option to generate a citation for the record in various formats, including MLA, APA, Chicago, and Bibtex.


How can I view the details about a patent?

By clicking the title of an article in the search results lists you will be directed to the patent record, providing bibliographic information, patent accessibility options, as well as citation format and metadata export options.


What if I have more questions?

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.