The patent document as technical literature Why is a patent document important to the scientist or engineer? If he/she is the inventor, the pride of ownership and accomplishment is quite high. But if someone else is the inventor, why look at it? Patent documents are not ‹ction; they are a truthful demonstration of scienti‹c and technical achievements. These documents are a valuable font of technical knowledge; they show the current and past state of technology; they show what others have already achieved and provide experimental information that others can avoid repeating; and they assist in showing the prior art of the area of investigation.