Terms of Use | Privacy Policy |Lens Scholarly API | PatSeq Bulk Data | Disclaimer | Acknowledgement

Terms of use

N.B. These terms of use were last updated on Oct 8, 2020 (v2020.10.08)

Thanks for your interest in The Lens.

The Lens.org platform that you see today is the product of over two decades of creative output from a team of professionals at Cambia, a global non-profit social enterprise. The Lens is committed to its mission to make knowledge open, meaningful, useful and accessible. At the same time, we ask that all community members and especially those who use Lens.org and the API for other than academic, non-commercial use cases to contribute to the maintenance and development of the platform towards its mission.

As an open and public resource, Lens.org is designed to provide valuable tools to make science- and technology-enabled problem solving more effective, efficient and inclusive.

The Terms of Use apply to all use of the websites, applications, tools and services ("Service" or "Services") available under the lens.org domain ("The Lens", "us", "we", "our") or that link to these Terms of Use, unless indicated otherwise. The Services are offered for the purpose of providing access to summarised data, analytics or metadata, and are distinguished from any API, bulk downloads, data-feeds or other web services ("Web Services"), which have additional terms.

Please review these Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy before you begin using the Service. The offered Services are subject to your acceptance without modification of the terms and conditions contained herein and all other operating rules, policies (including, without limitation, The Lens Privacy Policy) and any guidelines or additional terms or disclaimers that may be posted and/or updated on the Service. We may revise and update these Terms of Use from time to time at our sole discretion with all changes effective immediately when we post them.

By accessing or using any of The Lens Services, you agree to these Terms of Use.

Using Lens Services

Subject to compliance with these Terms of Use, Cambia grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable, limited license to access and personally use the features of the Service. The conditions by which The Lens data may be used are intended to resonate with the principles of Creative Commons Attribution licenses with a public benefit element. The purpose for using the Lens data should not interfere with or replicate the existing Lens services. You are entitled to access and personally use the Services to download or extract data for Acceptable Use.

What is Acceptable Use?

Any data obtained from the Service by an individual account holder and for their own personal use may be used in the following way:
  • You may:
    • Copy and redistribute the data in any medium or format;
    • Modify, transform, adapt or create derivative works from the data.
  • Provided: 
    • Appropriate Attribution is used;
    • Improvements must be shared under open source principles;
    • The Lens ID is retained in any redistribution of data.

If you modify, transform, adapt or create derivative works from the exported Lens data, we ask that you share the improvements under open principles, resonant with CC:BY:SA. For example, if you clean or disambiguate the accessed Lens author or affiliation data, you are required to make the data available to us and to the community, post the Lens logo or attribution badge on your website if you have one, or promote the use of Lens.org in other ways. Details can be found in the Attribution section.

If you elect not to share the improvements, we ask that you take up a paid subscription. If you are an incorporated entity and require access to tailored Lens services, we ask that you take an institutional membership. For example, if you want to curate your institutional scholarly collection, enhance its metadata, or integrate citation counts, you will need to become an institutional member. If your institution’s mission is aligned with that of The Lens and you are willing to complement the Lens resources to implement new features in the public platform, then we ask that you contact us.

In accessing these Services, you may not engage in deceptive behaviour or use any automated crawlers, robots, spiders, or other automated downloading programs to: (i) continuously and automatically search, scrape, extract or index any content; (ii) harvest personal information from the Services for the purposes of sending unsolicited or unauthorised material; or (iii) cause disruption to the working of the Services or any other person’s use of the Services. If the Service contains robot exclusion files or robot exclusion headers, you agree to honour them and not use any process to bypass them.

You acknowledge and agree that the web content and all intellectual property rights of any kind related to the Services, including text, graphics, photographs, trademarks, logos, videos, audio, images, applications, programs, databases, computer code and other web content including but not limited to the user interface design, layout and "look and feel", is owned by Cambia, its licensors or its content providers unless otherwise specified.

Separate Agreements and Additional Terms

If you are accessing and/or using the Service under a separate contractual agreement between Cambia, representing The Lens and the organisation that you belong to or are acting for (the "Agreement"), your use will also be subject to the terms specified in the Agreement. To the extent there is any conflict between these Terms of Use and the Agreement, the terms of the Agreement shall prevail.

Additional terms or usage restrictions ("Additional Terms") may apply to certain parts of the Service and shall form part of these Terms of Use. You shall comply with all Additional Terms referenced, posted and/or updated on any part of the Service you use. To the extent there is any conflict between the Additional Terms and parts of these Terms of Use, the Additional Terms shall prevail in respect of the relevant part of the Service.

Using Lens Web Services

Lens Scholarly API

We provide access to the scholarly data in the Lens via API and offer free and custom service plans. The regular use of the Lens scholarly data, including what is available through the API, is provided under the same conditions as listed above for the Lens data, unless otherwise specified in an Agreement or Additional Terms. The use of the Lens Scholarly API is subject to the Lens Scholarly API - Terms of Use.

PatSeq Data

We provide regular and bulk patent sequence data. All regular sequence downloads, which include downloads from a sequence tab in the patent portfolio (for example see this link) or downloads of mapped sequence data in PatSeq Explorer and Analyzer (for example see this link),are provided under the same conditions as listed above for the Lens data, unless otherwise specified in an Agreement or Additional Terms. For the PatSeq bulk download options and terms, please see the PatSeq Bulk Download - Terms of Use.


When using any data obtained through our Services internally, in a product or service, or including data in a redistribution, please acknowledge The Lens by including the URL https://www.lens.org/, or a link to a relevant search or collection on the lens.org domain. The Lens logo image files are available in our Press Kit and must be used for digital or print attribution along with the link to The Lens website.  Please use the expression 'Enabled by The Lens' or 'Data Sourced from The Lens' and the Lens.org URL. Please ensure that the Lens logo and link is prominently displayed at the point of delivery of the services or data derived from Lens, to the end-user. Alternatively you can use the Lens Attribution badge by copying and pasting this iframe code snippet into your website.

<iframe src="https://lens.org/lens/embed/attribution" scrolling="no" height="30px" width="100%"></iframe>

For publications and reports that use The Lens data, please cite one of our relevant articles:

Disclaimer of Warranties

The Website is provided “as is” and Cambia and The Lens hereby disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Cambia or The Lens does not make any warranty that the Services will be free of errors or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through lens.org at your own discretion and risk.

Limitation of Liability

In no event will Cambia or The Lens be liable for: (i) any special, incidental or consequential damages; (ii) the cost of procurement for substitute products or services; or (iii) for interruption of use or loss or corruption of data as a result of using our Services. Cambia or The Lens shall have no liability for any failure or delay due to matters beyond their reasonable control.

General Representation and Warranty

You represent and warrant that (i) your use of these services will be in strict accordance with these Terms of Use, with all of The Lens policies, and with all applicable laws and regulations (including without limitation any local laws or regulations in your country, state, city, or other governmental area, regarding online conduct and acceptable content, and including all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside) and (ii) your use of these Services will not infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of any third party.


You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Cambia and The Lens, its contractors, and its licensors, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of these Services, including but not limited to your violation of these Terms of Use.

Privacy Policy

N.B. the Lens Privacy Policy was updated on Oct 8, 2020 and is now available at https://about.lens.org/privacy/


We don’t actually handle granting all patents worldwide. Nor, unfortunately, do we have a warehouse in the Australian outback where we store a physical copy of every patent ever granted. Instead, we collect electronic versions of patent documents from the patent offices of dozens of different countries and keep them in the cloud for everyone to look at for free as a public service.

Some of these national patent offices do a great job of converting the text and drawings of the physical documents into electronic format, and some of them do a not-so-great job. So while a lot of documents have searchable full text and great looking drawings that can easily be viewed online or in a PDF, some of the documents do not. Sometimes the text – especially in non-Roman alphabets and with non-standard characters – doesn’t display perfectly, sometimes the equations don’t appear properly on the screen, and sometimes the drawings and diagrams don’t look quite right.

We do our best, but we’re limited with what we have to work with. So, if something is missing – or worse yet is actually wrong – please let us know. Please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that the data and documents we present will be perfectly accurate or complete. Go complain to the patent office, instead.

If you’re sick, you can use sites on the internet to learn what to ask your doctor about, but the internet itself is not your doctor. Similarly, we are not your lawyer! So if you’re concerned about whether you might be infringing someone else’s patent or whether they might be infringing your patent, look at the patent documents, run your analyses, and decide for yourself whether or not you need to hire a lawyer. If you do, we hope the Lens provides you and your lawyer with a lot of useful information. But remember that they get to charge those outrageous fees for a reason, and no amount of information we can provide can make up for their training and experience. . . yet.


The Microsoft Academic graph (MAG) data is shared with the Lens under this license: https://microsoftdocs.github.io/MAG/Getting-MAG-On-ADLS.html The PubMed data is shared with the Lens under this license: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/databases/download/terms_and_conditions.html The CrossRef data is shared with the Lens under this license: https://www.crossref.org/requestaccount/termsandconditions.html
The Terms of Use text, described above, are available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license, which means you are welcome to adapt and re-purpose the text for your own use.