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Lichtenberger Engineering Library

Patents: How to Cite Patents

How to Cite Patents

When writing an article or research paper, citing a patent or a patent application varies depending on the style manual used. It is important to check with your instructor, editor or publisher to know which citation format to use.

Examples of how to cite U.S. Patent 3,597,875 using five different style manuals:

ACS Style Guide

The minimum data required for an acceptable citation are the name(s) of the patent owner(s), the patent number, and the date. Ensure that the patent stage (Patent, Patent Application, etc.) is indicated and that the pattern of the number (e.g., spaces, commas, dashes) follows that of the original patent document. If possible, include the title and the Chemical Abstracts reference (preceded by a semicolon) as well. Patents p. 310

U.S. patent numbers are always written with commas: U.S. Patent 6,555,655. The patent numbers of other countries should be presented as on the original patent number. p. 208

Christensen, G. K. U.S. Patent 3,597,875, 1971.

AMA Manual of Style (10th edition) Online

3.13.7 Patents

Christensen, Godtfred Kirk, inventor; Interlego Ag, assignee. Toy building set. US patent 3,597,875. August 10, 1971.

Chicago Manual of Style

14.230 Patents Patents are cited under the names of the creators and dated by the year of filing.

15.50 Patents or other documents cited by more than one date Cite patents and other documents that include more than one date as follows (note that the year of issue is repeated to avoid ambiguity).

Christensen, Godtfred Kirk. Toy building set. U.S. Patent 3,597,875 filed November 18, 1968, and issued August 10, 1971.

The CSE Manual

Christensen G. K., inventor; 1971 Aug. 10. Toy building set. United States patent US 3,597,875.

IEEE Citation

G. K. Christiansen, "Toy Building Set." U.S. Patent 3,597,875, issued August 10, 1971.

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