What Is Non Patent Literature: Unveiling The World of Non-Patent Literature

What Is Non Patent Literature?

Non patent literature (NPL) is any document or publication that is not an issued patent or published patent application.

You can include scientific publications, technical standards, conference proceedings, clinical trials, books, manuals, technical or research reports, or any other relevant technical scientific material pertaining to the invention to be patented.

Non Patent Literature can help to identify the state of the art, the gaps and opportunities in the field, the potential competitors and collaborators, and the trends and developments in the technology .

NPL can also help to assess the patentability, validity, and infringement of a patent claim, by revealing prior art that may anticipate or render obvious the invention.

What Is Non patent Literature
What Is Non patent Literature

Types of Non Patent Literature

There are many types of NPL that can be useful for patent search, depending on the purpose and scope of the search. Some examples of NPL are:

  • Scientific publications: These include journal articles, conference papers, dissertations, theses, books, book chapters, and reviews that report original research findings or review existing literature in a specific field. Scientific publications can provide in-depth and up-to-date information on the technical aspects of an invention, as well as the background and motivation of the research.
  • Technical standards: These are documents that specify the requirements, specifications, guidelines, or characteristics of a product, service, process, or system. Technical standards can indicate the accepted norms and best practices in a certain industry or domain, as well as the regulatory and legal frameworks that govern them.
  • Conference proceedings: These are collections of papers presented at a conference or symposium on a particular topic or theme. Conference proceedings can reflect the latest developments and innovations in a field, as well as the current challenges and issues faced by researchers and practitioners.
  • Clinical trials: These are studies that test the safety and efficacy of a new drug, device, procedure, or intervention in humans. Clinical trials can provide evidence of the therapeutic value and potential market of an invention, as well as the ethical and social implications of its use.
  • Technical or research reports: These are documents that describe the results or progress of a technical or scientific project or activity. Technical or research reports can provide detailed and comprehensive information on the methods, data, analysis, findings, and recommendations of a research project .

Sources of Non Patent Literature

Many sources of NPL are accessible for patent search, both online and offline.

Some examples of sources include:

  • Databases: These are collections of data that are organized and searchable by keywords, fields, filters, or other criteria. Databases can provide access to a large number of NPL documents from various sources and disciplines. Some examples of databases that contain NPL are: Web of Science , Scopus , PubMed , IEEE Xplore , Google Scholar , etc.
  • Libraries: These are physical or virtual places that store and provide access to books, journals, magazines, newspapers, reports, and other types of publications. Libraries can offer access to both current and historical NPL documents that may not be available online. Some examples of libraries that contain NPL are: National Library , University Library , Public Library , etc.
  • Websites: These are pages or collections of pages on the internet that provide information on a specific topic or subject.Websites can provide access to NPL documents published by various organizations or individuals, such as government agencies, companies, universities, associations, etc.

Challenges of Non Patent Literature Search

While NPL can offer valuable information for patent search, it also requires addressing some challenges.

Some examples of challenges are:

  • Volume: There is a vast amount of NPL available from various sources and disciplines. It can be difficult to find relevant and reliable NPL documents among the noise and clutter of irrelevant or outdated information.
  • Variety: There is a wide variety of NPL formats and languages. It can be difficult to access and understand NPL documents that are not in a standard format or language.
  • Quality: There is a variable quality of NPL content and credibility. It can be difficult to assess the accuracy, validity, relevance, and timeliness of NPL documents, as well as the authority and reputation of the authors and publishers.
  • Visibility: There is a limited visibility of NPL citations and references. It can be difficult to track and trace the sources and impacts of NPL documents, as well as the relationships and connections between them.

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