Can I cite Wikipedia as a reference in an IDS? For example, "Ducks", Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck, Retrieved from Internet 12/18/2019 And attach a print out.

  • I think you can. It goes under "NON-PATENT LITERATURE DOCUMENTS" of the IDS. But use a timestamp based link like this. en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Duck&oldid=931362169 You can find timestamp based links in "View History" tab. Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 0:12
  • I agree - but you have the alternative of looking up and, if appropriate, citing one or more of the references cited by the Wikipedia article.
    – George White
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 2:00

1 Answer 1


You can list a Wikipedia entry in an IDS. While there is not a requirement to do any searching for references, we are required to list the relevant things we find. The issue with citing Wikipedia is that the date on the reference will be around the date of the filing. References are used against an application based on the publication date of the reference. The original information displayed in the Wikipedia page all came from some earlier references. To accurately convey an earlier version of the information you have found would require you to look up the references at the end of the entry and, if appropriate, cite those.

  • Wikipedia cites all kind of references. It could be a web page. In such cases, I would actually prefer to use waybackmachine. archive.org Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 6:14

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