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DI 20100 : Introduction to Design Innovation

This Research Guide is intended for students in the course DI 20100 taught by Abe Avnisan and J.R. Campbell

What is a patent?

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor. Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States. There are three types of patents: (1) Utility, covering function; (2) Design, covering ornamental design; and (3) Plant, for a new variety of plant.


What is prior art?

Prior art refers to publicly available documentation such as existing patents or articles in journals or newspapers that describe technologies already in use. In order to grant a patent, the examiner will search for prior art to insure that the invention is novel.

Electronic Books - Access through KentLINK

A Triumph of Genius

Current Challenges in Patent Information Retrieval

More Great Patent Search Tools

Patent Searching in Kent State Databases

Selected courses from LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning (formerly, is an online education company offering thousands of video courses in software, creative, and business skills. All Kent State faculty, staff, and students have access to LinkedIn Learning at no charge. Login at Here is a list of just a few of the programs on patents available on LinkedIn Learning:

  • Patenting Your Ideas
  • Understanding Patents: A Deeper Dive
  • Connecting Trade Secrets to Patents and Disclosure
  • U. S. Patent and Trademark Office