I'm always on the lookout for examples I can share with researchers, especially postdocs and grad students,
that illustrate the pitfalls of ignoring patent literature.
Here's a recent report about two polymer researchers at the Univ. of Mass. Amherst who took their
colleagues to task for ignoring older scientific research, especially patent literature, in an article published
in Langmuir. Their study used a water-repellent (hydrophobic) silicone patented in 1945 to prove that
hydrophobicity was well-known in the 1940s but apparently forgotten by today's researchers.
Here's the citation:
Lichao, G. and McCarthy T. "Artificial lotus leaf" prepared using a 1945
patent and a commercial textile." Langmuir, 2006, 22, 5998-6000