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Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 364D

ECE 364D - Introduction to Engineering Design


1. Use Espacenet and search by Cooperative Patent Classification

Example: battery pet collar

2. Click on the appropriate code to expand the section and look for more detailed and specific classifications.  

  • Check the boxes to build a list of patents you want to review and click Find patents 

3. Repeat this process for different classification codes - all patents include at least one classification code and most have many different codes.


Quick Links


Standards, Codes, & Specifications

IEEE Standards Glossary

Standard: "A standard is a document that defines the characteristics of a product, process or service, such as dimensions, safety aspects, and performance requirements."

Code: "Laws or regulations that specify minimum standards to protect public safety and health such as codes for construction of buildings. Voluntary standards are incorporated into building codes.”

Specification: "A set of conditions and requirements of precise and limited application that provide a detailed description of a procedure, process, material, product, or service for use primarily in procurement and manufacturing. Standards may be referenced or included in specifications."

"One way of looking at the differences between codes and standards is that a code tells you what you need to do, and a standards tells you how to do it. A code may say that a building must have a fire-alarm system. The standard will spell out what kind of system and how it must work." ~ NFPA

Why are standards important?

IEEE Standard Association states:

Standards form the fundamental building blocks for product development by establishing consistent protocols that can be universally understood and adopted. This helps fuel compatibility and interoperability and simplifies product development, and speeds time-to-market. Standards also make it easier to understand and compare competing products. As standards are globally adopted and applied in many markets, they also fuel international trade.

It is only through the use of standards that the requirements of interconnectivity and interoperability can be assured. It is only through the application of standards that the credibility of new products and new markets can be verified. In summary standards fuel the development and implementation of technologies that influence and transform the way we live, work and communicate.

Types of standards:

  • Category, type, dimension, structure, equipment, quality, grade, component, performance, durability, or safety 
  • Methods of manufacturing, methods of designing, methods of drawing, methods of using, or methods of operation of safety condition of production
  • Methods of testing, analyzing, appraising, verifying, or measuring 
  • Terms, abbreviations, symbols, marks, preferred numbers, or units 
  • Design, methods of execution, or safety conditions

Standards are created by a wide variety of organizations.  The most common are:

What are some points to remember when using standards? 

  • Some standards are government-mandated, and others are voluntary.  There may be various penalties associated with not adhering to the standard. 
  • Standards are updated frequently to keep pace with changing technology -- check to see if the standard you are using is the latest version. 
  • Older, superseded versions of standards may be useful in many cases, such as legal disputes concerning the performance of a product that was manufactured when the older standard was in force.  The Engineering Library DOES NOT maintain historical or superseded standards. 

Identifying Standards

  • Standards typically have a title and a report number associated with the organization that produced the standard.  

Examples include:

  • ASTM F1511 - Standard Specification for Mechanical Seals for Shipboard Pump Applications
  • IEEE 1708-2014 - Wearable Cuffless Blood Pressure Measuring Devices
  • MIL-DTL-641 - Jacks, Telephone General Specification for


Library Databases: free for UT staff, students, and faculty


NOTE: All users will be required to register for a free account in order to access standards on the IHS platform. ASME BPVC and ESDU will be accessible through the same login credentials.  

Also, some organizations (i.e. AWS, ICC) require users to download and use a free Adobe Acrobat plug-in to view their secure PDF standards.  

Once in the database select "IHS Standards Expert" for all standards except for ASME BPVC. 

IEEE Redline Versions of Standards provides clearly highlighted changes in a standard to allow for quick and efficient changes to procedures, products, and more.

Redline versions of standards are beneficial as they allow technical professionals to easily see what has changed from the previous version, leading to faster implementation of necessary changes.

Military and Federal Agencies - some, but not all, of these standards are freely available

Commercial Providers - most standards are not freely; they can range in cost from $20 to several hundred dollars 


IEEE Standards University - classes, workshops, e-zines, student grants, news, etc. - offers background materials and useful links for locating information about the use of standards in government. Our primary focus is on federal agency use of standards for regulatory and procurement purposes. - This web resource provides easy-to-use, self-paced educational tools for everyone who wants or needs an introduction to standards and conformity assessment activities.

ASME Standards - Examples of Use of Codes and Standards for Students in Mechanical Engineering 

University Outreach Program - ANSI Education and Training

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.