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May 2022

U.S. Patent Documents on the Internet: An Information Resource for Research in Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Abstract: The US patent literature is a valuable source of information and research data relevant to studies in alternative and complementary medicine. Many patent publications contain detailed historical reviews, case reports, clinical trials, pilot studies, and basic biological research, any of which may give scientific insights, notwithstanding the controversies surrounding the issues of some patents, such as those of products of traditional medicinal plants. Much of the scientific, efficacy, and safety data necessary to obtain a patent is unpublished elsewhere. This paper gives an account of the recent experiment to make the full text of U.S. patents documents openly and freely available on the Internet, gives an example of browsing such a document from the AIDS Patents database, and provides examples of searching on-line on the Patents Abstracts database together with a miscellany of recent abstracts relevant to alternative and complementary medicine.

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