How to Cite a Patent in Chicago Author–Date Referencing
  • 2-minute read
  • 30th March 2021

How to Cite a Patent in Chicago Author–Date Referencing

Sometimes, you may need to cite a patent in your academic writing. But how do you do this using Chicago author–date referencing? Here, we’ll set out the format for both in-text citations and reference list entries when citing a patent Chicago style.

For information on citing a patent in Chicago footnote referencing, see this post.

How to Cite a Patent in Chicago Author–Date Referencing

As with any source in Chicago author–date referencing, you need to cite any patents you reference in parentheses in the main text. For a patent, this means giving the surname(s) of the creator(s) and the year the patent was issued:

The exoskeleton design (Goffer and Zilberstein 2014) was ahead of its time.

You will then give full source information in a reference list.

Patents in a Chicago Reference List

In your reference list, the basic format for a patent is:

Patent Holder’s Surname, First Name. Year of issue. Name or description of invention. Country code and patent number, date filed (if known) and date issued.

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Note that there are two dates here: a date of filing and a date of issue. It is always the year of issue you should cite in the main text.

A full reference list entry for our citation above would therefore look like this:

Goffer, Amit, and Chaya Zilberstein. 2014. Locomotion assisting device and method. US Patent 8,905,955, filed 7 January 2013 and issued 9 December 2014.

As shown above, when there are two or more creators listed on a patent, you only need to invert the names of the first. For any additional named creators on the patent, give their names in the conventional order (i.e. first name + surname).

You should also use a hanging indent for each line after the first in each entry.

Expert Chicago Referencing Proofreading

We hope this has helped you with citing a patent in Chicago author–date referencing. But if you need any more help with your work, or even just your referencing, our editors are expert academic proofreaders.

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