Patent: how to cite in Harvard style?

Create a spot-on reference in Harvard

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General rules

Different citation styles require giving different information when referencing a patent: the details of the applicant or the inventor, the date of application or publication, etc. Based on the recommendations of a number of British and other universities as regards bibliographic references to patents under the Harvard citation style, we advise using the following template for your reference:

Applicant(s), (year). Patent title. Inventor(s): Inventor(s). Date of publication. Appl: date of application. Country Patent patent number.

NB: Give only the day and month in the 'Date of publication' field; give the day, month, and year in the 'date of application' field.

For details on how to give authors' names under the Harvard referencing system, see this article.

For a patent available online, use the following template:

Applicant(s), (year). Patent title [online]. Inventor(s): Inventor(s). Date of publication. Appl: date of application. Country Patent patent number. [Viewed date viewed]. Available from: URL

With the help of the online service Grafiati, you can reference a patent in a bibliography in accordance with the templates above automatically, by filling in only several fields.

Examples in a list of references

Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP, (2012). Absorbent sheet incorporating regenerated cellulose microfiber [online]. Inventors: Daniel W. Sumnicht and Joseph H. Miller. 29 May. Appl: 17 September 2008. United States Patent US8187421B2. [Viewed 13 January 2021]. Available from:

Siemens Healthcare GmbH, (2019). Image correction using a deep generative machine-learning model [online]. Inventors: Boris Mailhe, Hasan Ertan Cetingul, Benjamin L. Odry, Xiao Chen and Mariappan S. Nadar. 20 August. Appl: 16 May 2017. United States Patent US10387765B2. [Viewed 13 January 2021]. Available from:

Other citation styles: