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FED 101 - Fundamentals of Engineering Design: ECE: Patents & Standards

Workshop resource for students in the ECE Department’s sections of FED 101 on library research

Inventions, Patents & Standards

An invention is: 

  • any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.
    • Examples: hardware, software, business methods.

A patent is:

  • a right granted by government to inventors giving them total control of their invention - the inventors get to decide who, if anyone, can use their invention.
  • valid for 20 years from the date an inventor files an application, but is enforceable only from the date the patent is approved.

A standard

  • is a published document that establishes specifications and procedures designed to maximize the reliability of the materials, products, methods, and/or services people use every day.
  • addresses a range of issues, including but not limited to various protocols to help maximize product functionality and compatibility, facilitate interoperability and support consumer safety and public health.
  • forms the fundamental building blocks for product development by establishing consistent protocols that can be universally understood and adopted.

Where to look for patents...

Where to look for standards...


Look up the following patent number using a patent resource. 

Patent Number: 174,465 (U.S)

Who is the inventor? When was the patent issued? what is the name of the patent office?

New Jersey Institute of Technology
University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102-1982
(973) 596-3206
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