I would like to know particularly how is regarded in a scientific community since it is not peer reviewed.

It should be noted patents do not go through similar peer review as journal publications. Of course, this is slightly depending on whatever requirements patent laws in a specific country put on the claims put forward bu the patentee. But no country really requires another researcher to scrutinize the claims made by a patent at the point of filing it, like a publication does. There are patents of cars that run on water, fusion-powered space craft etc.etc, ie. things that do not work. So as a reference a patent is definitely a weaker source, especially if it is not something someone is using/selling yet.

Is it allowed to publish patent and then paper?

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    Misleading title - an answer to that could be that you earn kudos from the paper and someone else earns royalties from the patent. – Phil Lello Mar 18 '16 at 17:24
  • Research papers aren't meant to be read. Patents are REALLY not meant to be read. – darij grinberg Jul 27 '17 at 21:00
  • @darijgrinberg but I found inspiration for my thesis by reading a patent, also a lot of ppl on my department – SSimon Jul 29 '17 at 9:13

You're asking multiple questions at once, so let's start with:

What are the differences between a research paper and a patent

There are many, but briefly a research paper has the purpose of communicating research findings to the relevant scientific community and the general public. Patents are legal documents used to prevent other people from commercializing the process or devices they describe. Research papers typically report results of a scientific process, whether experimental or not, while patents describe processes and devices along with their respective intended applications.

Patents are typically very open-ended, not unlike a very long "future works"-section of an academic paper. The strategy is to cover a maximum of possible usages for the technology.

it is not peer reviewed

That is correct, peer review is a strategy used by researchers to filter, improve, and curate scientific literature. For patents, the review is driven by the legal requirements only. A major point is absence of overlap with existing patents and other publicly available material*. In some regions, a minimal demonstration of how the process/device works is expected by patent offices, but it's not the same as peer review.

Is it allowed to publish patent and then paper?

Yes, it's the other way that's problematic because as stated above, if you (or someone else) published a paper about your process or device you cannot patent it anymore.

Most journals are interested in novel results and all (legitimate) journals don't want to re-publish existing literature but the fact that the processes are patented is not an issue. As stated in my first paragraph, both documents should have very little overlap.

*On that subject, see the entertaining if not entirely historically accurate Donald Duck as prior art case

  • thank you, but some journals forbid submitting papers that are already published, and as I understand patents are published on the internet. Or I am wrong? – SSimon Mar 18 '16 at 12:17
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    @SSimon the content of an article will be completely different, if you are re-using graphics for example provide adequate citation. – Cape Code Mar 18 '16 at 12:23
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    @SSimon yes I guess the patent will contain all the "material and method" content but in legal phrasing. I think you'd be probably be writing all the text twice because both formats are completely different. Do cite the patent in the article though. – Cape Code Mar 18 '16 at 12:39
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    @SSimon that is one thing but also an article will include a thorough description of your results, a discussion of their relevance in the current context, how it improves the state of the art, etc. etc. things that would be absent form a patent. – Cape Code Mar 18 '16 at 13:08
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    In the U.S. at least, there is a one year grace period after publication in which a patent can be filed. – Paul A. Clayton Mar 18 '16 at 13:13

A patent is a paper that describes an invention. When the patent is accepted, the invention is protected to the extend of the made claims. This means that you can sue people for replicating your invention into their product, within the scope of your patent.

The deal of patents is you get exclusivity in exchange of detailed public disclosure of the invention, which become free to be exploited after a certain period of time (namely 20 years?)

Research paper on the other hand, aim to disclose a finding regardless of any application. Its main focus is results of some experiment, which may or may not include products, inventions or applications of any type. The peer-review makes for more credibility to the content of the publication.

Making a publication after a patent should be possible, on the other end the opposite is not. While filling a patent, the invention must not have been already disclosed. Otherwise it is considered prior-art.

  • thank you for telling me that. Good to know. do you think I should try to publish results, is this action can give me higher credibility? how is regarded in academia persons who have a lot of patents? – SSimon Mar 18 '16 at 12:20
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    The patent vs. paper choice is more related to the goal you have in mind. If you are working in academia, without any industrial contact, you'd probably be better to go for a paper. On the other hand, a company you're doing research with/for might prefer the patent way, so as to be able to sell/protect something in the future. I don't know how people with patent are held in academia. – M'vy Mar 18 '16 at 12:23
  • so you are suggesting that patents should be registered only if student plan to work outside of academia? – SSimon Mar 18 '16 at 12:35
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    Patents should be registered if you intend to build the invention and have exclusive rights to do so (or to sell licences to do so). – M'vy Mar 18 '16 at 12:39
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    In that situation, I would advise you to go with the papers. Patents are a hell of a mess to deal with. And assuming you want to keep working in academia, it will be better for you to show "I know how to publish" than "I know how to fill a patent". – M'vy Mar 18 '16 at 12:51

A patent is a legal document written by lawyers trying to say as little as possible while protecting an idea. Peer reviewed papers are trying to inform people and say as much as possible about an idea.

one makes you money, the other one keeps you a poor academic.

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    The vast majority of patents don't make anyone money except patent attorneys. Often academic papers are the key to well-paid academic jobs so you last sentence is wrong most of the time. – Cape Code Mar 18 '16 at 12:12
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    I am pretty sure that lawyers don't write the majority of the patent. But short of a statistic, I'll just settle on patents are not exclusively written by lawyers. Also, patents are not meant to protect ideas, but inventions. This is a major key point which is offend overlooked. In addition, a good patent should give detailed description of the invention, but it is true that usually claimers try to make it as general as possible to get the largest claim possible. Finally, patents does not make money. – M'vy Mar 18 '16 at 12:30
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    If I publish patent I dont intend to leave it general, but now it is question if any journal will allow me to publish @M'vy if I give detail description – SSimon Mar 18 '16 at 12:37
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    trying to say as little as possible?? Are you sure? Have you seen recent patent filings, 100+ pages? - - - I'd say trying to cover as many uses as possible in the most vague jargon allowed – Mindwin Mar 18 '16 at 13:24
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    @Mindwin exactly, writing a patent means that you will try to cover as much of hypothetical uses as possible, while trying to say as little specific, practically useful information as possible. Including too much real specifics hurts since since that would limit the scope to things that your process actually can do instead of all the somewhat similar things that the patent might cover but your particular implementation can not. – Peteris Mar 18 '16 at 14:32

Patents and publications are completely different in several regards.

Technically each patent has to be a solution to a given problem in the form of an application. You cannot patent ideas such as for example the idea of using electric engines in a car, which is not elligible to be patented unless you have the exact implementation. Only this specific implementation will be protected.

Many things cannot be patented, such as algorithms which are protected by copyright, and math formulae, which are not protected. US system is notoriously bad as far as granting computer related patents go. Each patent can be tested in court and might get annulled: look at Samsung v. Apple cases.

In short for something to be patented it has to be new, innovative and monetizable.

What most people view as broad and unclear definition is usually not the case with good lawyers and I woukd advise to look for another one, since in court every unclear point will be challanged. If a technology can be used with pneumatics and hydraulics it should be in the patent.

The main reason why you cannot patent after publishing, is because from the point of law from the moment where the technology is available it is part of the stand of technology and is publically available, therefore not patentable since it is part of "common knowledge".

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    Algorithms can and are patented in the USA. In Europe and Brazil, for example, they cannot be patented, so YMMV. – Mindwin Mar 18 '16 at 13:26
  • @Mindwin Can an algorithm be patented? – scaaahu Mar 18 '16 at 13:55
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    Yes. They have been patented in the USA for a long time (I am not up to recent changes ~5 years though. I had the great opportunity to attend an event where Stallman gave his "Danger of Software Patents" talk at my university (not in USA or India). If @scaaahu (or the reader) haven't been exposed to it, i'd recommend reading it. – Mindwin Mar 18 '16 at 14:01
  • As far as I am aware algorithms are mistakengly protected sometimes by patents. Usually there is no reason because they are already protcted by copyright law. It is rendundant. – RichK Mar 18 '16 at 22:12

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