Not sure if this is too simple a question.

I have a PDF-format file downloaded from the official site of the paper's authors. This file describes a technique that I want to use in my commercial software. Is there a simple, foolproof way to tell whether the technique has been patented (by the authors of the paper)?

Things I've tried:

  • E-mailed some of the authors. But I didn't get a response
  • Searched patents.google.com (for the paper title, then for one of the author's names) but patents.google.com doesn't guarantee it contains all existing patents.
  • 2
    Patents.google.com is pretty comprehensive, but lens.org/lens is better. Definitely search by each author name, but only one name at a time. You may need to repeat this search as it takes 18 months for applications to issue after filing. Ultimately having an patent attorney do a freedom to operate analysis may be necessary.
    – Eric S
    Mar 23, 2020 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in a comment, patent applications are not published until 18 months after initial filing. If it is a U.S. only filing it is possible that non-publication was requested and no publication will occur until and unless a patent issues. If the authors are not all in the U.S. there is a greater likelihood of one or more applications filed somewhere else. As suggested in a comment, search by each author separately - authorship and inventorship are two very different things.

Of course something that you do might infringe a patent by someone else entirely.

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