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How to List Patents on a Resume

written by: S Wood•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 4/1/2011

In your quest to learn the way to add patents on a resume, turn the spotlight also on the sections where you should add that information. Include your invention details in the Summary and Patents section. Then use, for example, the Chicago Manual of Style format to list these patents.

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    A Primer on Listing Patents on a Resume

    “How to list patents on a resume," is a question in the minds of potentially many career aspirants who have been granted patent(s) or have applied to obtain a patent. It’s also equally important to know innovation where to list your patents. Let the job needs drive that decision. For instance, if the employer needs candidates with a strong history of inventions, it would be prudent to list patents just below the Summary section of the resume.

    Whatever the case, it’s essential to know where and how to list patents on a resume, because such credentials can take you closer to your job goal.

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    Gather Patent Information

    The first step to listing patents on a resume is to collect all the data on your patents. Create a seven-column table and add patent data to it. The headers for the columns are Invention (utility, design or plant), Inventor(s), Country, Patent Number, Patent Granted Date, Application Number and Application Date (for pending patents).

    TIP: Access the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database and copy and paste the relevant data on your patents into the specific columns of the table. If necessary, change the font to the one you’ll use in your resume. Then, simply cut and paste the data from your table into your resume.

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    Where should you List the Patents on your Resume?

    The Summary and Patents section are the better spots in your resume to list your patents:

    Summary Section: As patent(s) are excellent credentials, you should, in fact, you must, include it in the Summary section. Be aware that the summary of your qualifications highlights your talent and experience, right at the first stage of the resume-review process. In the Summary, you’ll only indicate the number of patents you’ve. If these are few, and space permits, add also the titles of the inventions. Say you’ve two patents. Add a line like “Patents for <title of the first invention> and <title of the second invention>."

    Patents Section: It’s the best place to list your patents. With a separate block of its own in the resume, the patents section helps draw the focus of the hirer to it. Give the section a title like PATENTS.

    Now, the question is, “Where should you place this section?" Make the decision on the needs of the job. If it demands a track record of inventions that are patented, it makes sense to list your patents right below the Summary. That way, your skills that has a strong fit with the job needs is quickly visible. In any case, you should list patents, preferably, on the first page of your resume.

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    How should you List Granted Patents on your Resume?

    As there are no standards to list patents on your resume, The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) for citing patents can be used as a guide. Here’s how to list patents on a resume with the CMOS format:


    [Last name, first name of the inventor.] [The year the patent was issued.] [The title of the invention.] [Country Patent number,] filed [Month Date, Year,] and issued [Month Date, Year.]


    Hunt, Lewis. 1992. Three zone bed cover with an inflatable human form. U.S. Patent 5,146,634, filed September 11, 1991, and issued September 15, 1992.

    Source: USPTO database.

    NOTE: In case a patent involves more than one inventor, the name of the primary inventor should appear first, that of the second co-inventor next and so on.

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    How should you List Pending Patents on your Resume?

    Even for this category, again, there is no standard format. A style, modeled on the above CMOS, can be used to list pending patents:

    [Last name, first name of the inventor.] [The year the patent was filed.] [The title of the invention.] [Country Patent Application number,] filed [Month Date, Year.] Patent Pending.


    Doe, J. 2009. Method to enhance the performance of multimedia-rich applications on computer systems with single-core CPUs. U.S. Patent Application 20000000000, filed January 2009. Patent Pending.

    NOTE: The above example is used for illustrative purpose only.

    Conclusion: Whether you’ve granted or pending patents, list them on your resume, with a format like the Chicago Manual of Style, to bring your talent to the fore.

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    United States Patent and Trademark Office,

    USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database,

    USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database,,146,634.PN.&OS=PN/5,146,634&RS=PN/5,146,634

    How to Cite a Patent,

    Image Credit:

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