It is essential in academic writing to cite sources accurately, as it helps prevent plagiarism and ensures credibility and transparency for readers. On top of this, it is crucial for readers to be able to access the original sources. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers robust citation guidelines for various types of sources. This article aims to provide a comprehensive approach to citing patents in APA style.
Definition: APA patent citation
A patent citation in APA style refers to the correct acknowledgment of patents used as sources of information in a research paper or article. The format is in accordance with the guidelines provided by the APA. It encompasses all essential information such as the inventor’s name, patent number, the patent’s title, the issuing country, and the year of issue.
Format and examples of APA patent citation
The subsequent sections will illustrate the format for both reference entries and in-text citations of APA patent citations. Additionally, illustrative examples will be provided to enhance comprehension.
Format of a reference entry
Inventor(s). (Year). Patent title (Patent number). Issuing Organization.
Format of an in-text citation
The in-text citation format of an APA patent citation is a simplified version, typically containing only the necessary details to allow the reader to find the full citation in the reference list. The format typically includes the inventor’s last name and the year of patent issuance.
When a patent has multiple inventors, adhere to the same order as presented on the patent for the citation. The primary inventor is cited with their surname first, followed by their initials. Subsequent inventors are cited with their initials preceding their surnames. Inventors should be separated by commas and introduced with an ampersand (&) before the final inventor’s name.
For a pending patent, you would follow the same format, but instead of the patent number, you would use the term “patent pending.” The date you use should be the date the patent application was filed.
The APA patent citation of a foreign patent is similar to a U.S. patent, but you should include the country in the citation where the patent has been filed. The abbreviation for the country code should be used in place of “U.S.” before the patent number.