Fluids with suspended nanoparticles, commonly known as nanofluids, may be formulated to improve the thermal performance of industrial heat transfer systems and applications. Nanofluids may show enhanced thermal and electrical properties such as thermal conductivity, viscosity, heat transfer coefficient, dielectric strength, etc. However, stability problems may arise as nanoparticles usually have the tendency to agglomerate and sediment producing deterioration in the increment of these properties. In this review, we discuss patents that report advances in the formulation of nanofluids including: production methods, selection of components (nanoparticles, base fluid and surfactants), their chemical compositions and morphologies, and characterization techniques. Finally, current and future directions in the development of nanofluid formulation are discussed.