Researching patent information can provide invaluable insight into an industry. You may want to recall historic patents to ascertain changes in technology and manufacturing. Since patents often reference previous patents in their filing record and application, you can follow the evolution of industry technology. You may also look to gain insight into companies by searching current patent information to learn which companies in the industry are filing for patents and releasing new ideas.
Depending on your research need, you can look for patents and patent information by narrowing your search using the following criteria:
*United States Patent Classification (USPC) or Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC). You can learn more about Patent Classifcation from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Try searching for Patents using the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Google Patents interfaces:
For information on patents and trademarks and the application process, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Researching historical patents can be particularly useful if you mean to discover the history of an industry or company, the technology evolution of an industry, or examples of patents or design ideas that never "made it." How has the industry changed since these patents were originally filed? What industry and economic factors led to its success or demise?
To view a compiled list of early U.S. patents, try searching this resource:
Examples of a few early, fundamental ice cream industry patents, via Google Patents:
You may want to try searching for recent or current patents to determine which companies are releasing new product designs or technology through patent filing. Researching current patents can also shed some light on the applications of the patents within a given industry.
Online tools such as Patent iNSIGHT Pro External* map patent data to product information. Tools such as their Technology Insight Reports can analyze assignee activity and prominence in a product area based on patent filing. *This resource is partially free, some purchase may be necessary to view all functions.
Here are a few examples of some recently filed patents that depict new ideas in the ice cream industry, via Google Patents:
Standards are a vital industry component because they enhance safety and improve the quality of consumer and industrial products. You can research which standards are prominent in the ice cream industry and which determine safety and other regulations. Knowing standard specifications for certain equipment in the ice cream industry is also critical information for franchisees and entrepreneurs.
The IHS Market Standards Store External will provide the most recent identifying number, title, description, and abstract for any given standard. You can search for standards by keyword, publisher, or industry. Publishers include (but are not limited to) ASTM International Standards and UL Standards, as well as military and foreign standard publishers. Once you determine which standard you are looking for, you can contact the Library of Congress Technical Reports Division to determine if we have the standard you need.
The ASTM International Standards are available in the Science, Technology, and Business collection, with the most recent standards located in our self-serve reference collection.
For more information about locating and identifying standards:
A few examples of standards relevant to the ice cream industry: