Protecting Traditional Knowledge From Copyright

Corporations occasionally try to copyright traditional knowledge, culture, and/or technology.

India has taken the step of creating the traditional digital library which documents traditional knowledge.  This makes it more difficult for corporations to take traditional knowledge and claim that purely for themselves. 

Case in point: the recent case where Colgate Palmolive attempted to copyright a product that used traditional Indian spices – and apparently nothing else. Read about the case here, in which Colgate did not prevail.

How to Search Patents in LexisNexis

You can look up patents and trademarks in the LexisNexis database.

To look up all patents and trademarks held BY COMPANY in LexisNexis:

1) Click the SEARCH BY CONTENT TYPE then the COMPANIES tab, 2) look up your company in COMPANY DOSSIER and then 3) patents is on the left side of screen

You can also search patents in general in LexisNexis. Again, select By Content Type then Patents.

Or, you can use the US Patent Office website, but you can’t search by company so well. They also have trademarks, BTW.

New Biz Databases: First Research and IBIS World

So you have to do an industry analysis for your management class?  Now we have two new databases that put everything in one location and have better categories of businesses too!

First Research – A great one stop location for industry surveys and analysis.

Contains over 900 Industry Segments, updated constantly with monthly statistics and indicators as well as quarterly trend updates, and State Profiles to monitor monthly employment, business and real estate trends in each of the 50 US states.


Subjects NAICS collection analyzes industries at the 5-digit level offering the latest content on 700 industries. Each report consists of 30 to 40 pages of key statistics and analysis on market characteristics, operating conditions, current and forecast performance, major industry participants and more.
Coverage Current
Format U.S. Industry reports
Type Other Database

New! First Research Database For Industry Analysis

Great news for business discipline majors!  The library has subscribed to First Research database.

This database contains over 900 different industry segments. For each segment there are SWOT analyses, growth ratings, and forecasts.
Other industry surveys are located in these databases:

Business Source Complete
Marketline Advantage
Market Research
Standard and Poor’s (industries tab is at the top of the screen)

Hoovers Database Located in Campus Research and Lexis Nexis

Hoovers (company financials and company history) is available inside Campus Research and Lexis Nexis

The Campus Research link is easier: the Hoovers link is simply located in the upper left screen. Voila!

The Lexis Nexis Way is more complicated.

Go to Companies, select Company Dossier and search your company. The information will be from  Hoovers.

Business Students and Finding SWOTs

SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These are great reports that discuss competition, product development, regulation (important to drug companies among others) and the macroeconomic picture that might affect a company.

Recommended databases:

Business Source Complete – limit your results to SWOTs

Marketline Advantage – Do a company search and select SWOT on the right side of the screen.
ABI Inform (keyword search your company and the word SWOT)