Terms Of Use | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Patent Sequence Data | Acknowledgement

Terms of use

The Lens is a public-benefit corporation and we provide an open global cyberinfrastructure as a public resource designed to provide you with valuable tools to make science- and technology-enabled problem solving more effective, efficient and inclusive. Our service is free and we would love for you to use it!

The below terms of use (“Terms of Use”) are available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license, which means you are welcome to adapt and repurpose them for your own use. These 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. Please review these Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy before you begin using the Service. By accessing or using any of The Lens Services, you agree to these Terms of Use.

Using our Services

The following Terms of Use govern the use of all Services and content available at or through The Lens. These Services are offered 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.

Subject to compliance with these Terms of Use, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable, limited license to access and use the free features of the Service. Data in The Lens is made available under an Open Data Commons Attribution License. You are entitled to access and use the Services and download or extract data from the free Services. The free Services are offered for the purpose of providing access to summarised data, analytics or metadata, and is distinguished from bulk downloads or data-feeds. If you are using patent sequence data, your use of the data will also be subject to the Patent Sequence Data - Terms of Use.

In accessing these Services, you may not 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 unauthorized 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 honor 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 The Lens, its licensors or its content providers unless otherwise specified.

Disclaimer of Warranties

The Website is provided “as is” 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. 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, The Lens at your own discretion and risk.

Limitation of Liability

In no event will 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. 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 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

Your use of the Lens is your business, not ours.

Website Visitors

We want the Lens to be the best tool that it can be, and we are working continually on making the Lens better and better. In order to do this, we need to know what features you're using, what kind of browser you’re using, which language version and where you’re visiting from. So we collect this information whenever you visit the Lens. But this information will not be used to identify you personally. We would love it if you would tell us who you are and why you use the Lens. But you’re going to have to initiate the conversation yourself, because we’re not going to snoop around to figure it out on our own.

We collect this information using our own tracking service, we do not use third-party tracking services. If you don’t want to be tracked, then change the settings on your browser to turn off tracking – simple as that. And when we talk about the Lens or write about the Lens, we might say that “X number of searches are performed each day" or "Y percent of the people who visit the Lens use the Firefox browser, and Z percent of them use the Russian language version.” But that's it.

Email Addresses

If you want to register for an account, you need to give us a valid email address (we require a valid email address for an account so we can reset your password should you forget it). We’re not going to share your email address with anyone. But if you don’t want to share one of your email addresses with us, that’s fine – just don’t register for an account.

Personal Data 

We consider use of the Lens to be your business and not ours, and so we do not use the information we gather from use of our website to identify you personally.  Still, under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you may request from the Lens access to and rectification or erasure of your Personal Data, data portability, restriction of processing of your Personal Data, and the right to object to processing of your Personal Data. If you would like to exercise your rights under the GDPR or to delete your Lens account, just let us know by sending an email to dpo@lens.org

Privacy Policy Changes

Technology changes, and we might decide to add new features. And so we might occasionally want to change this Privacy Policy. We’ll post a notice on the homepage whenever this happens, but it would be a good idea to check back here every now and again to see if anything’s changed.


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.

Patent Sequence Data

Please see Patent Sequence Data - Terms of Use for more details.


The Microsoft Academic graph (MAG) data is shared with the Lens under this license:

The PubMed data is shared with the Lens under this license:

The CrossRef data is shared with the Lens under this license: