What is the best entity to use with BibTeX in order to reference a patent or patent application?


The 'traditional' BibTeX styles do not include an entry type for patents. As such, any entry of the form


will be treated as a misc entry. The formatting that results, may well not be what you want, so I would recommend doing things 'by hand' using the misc type and howpublished field.

[Some styles do recognise patents. The exact details of the fields supported vary a bit, so it's best to consult the appropriate documentation.)


I would also recommend creating your own misc entry on BibTeX and populating the howpublished field with your patent's pre-print URL if possible. The website bibtex.online can convert online your BibTeX entry/ies to formatted text in other formats: APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.

For instance: bibtex.online misc entry

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