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2022 Fall Patent Vector Course

Time limit: 110 days
3 credits

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Full course description

PatentVector is a large database of inventions that go back several decades, allowing users to easily explore patterns of innovation to identify a host of information, anywhere from how different companies innovate to which patents are most influential. Through a simple search, users can find relevant patents, as well as related patents, information related to the company that owns the patent, how the company operates, the inventors, and even the examiner at the USPTO.


This database can be useful to a variety of stakeholders across the university setting. For example:


·       For students considering graduate work, searching through patents may help you find a faculty advisor at a university who works in the same field you are interested in pursuing.

·       For students looking for a paper topic, exploring intellectual property space through Patent Vector can help you identify issues or find evidence with which to test hypotheses.

·       For faculty and researchers, you can find scholars at other universities who do similar research and may be interested in writing a grant proposal or co-authoring a paper with you.

 ·       For lab and institute directors, you can find companies who may be interested in entering into a sponsored research agreement with you based on shared interests.

·       As a university administrator or official, patent searches can help you identify leading researchers who you may want to add to the top of a search list for new faculty. It can also help give you data on the impact your university or units within your university are having on the world based on how important the patents coming out of your technology transfer offices are compared to other universities.


This course teaches new users how to efficiently and effectively utilize the website. It is available for free to the general public, but users must have a login on the PatentVector website in order to progress through the course. Users may earn a certificate for completing the course if they complete all assignments and quizzes. However, if one does not need a certificate, they can just use the course as a means to access the tutorial videos which will guide users in exploring the various tools available.