Supported by a US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) program, since 2012 the IP Library has been part of a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries designated as PTRC's and authorized to disseminate patent and trademark information. The PTRC Program (formerly known as the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program or PTDL) has been in existence since 1871 to provide public access to patents.
To help you save time in planning your approach in trying to determine if contacting this PTRC is right for you, it is important to understand the very limited scope of services - to obtain an orientation to approaches to search the patent and trademark databases available on the open web.
The PTRC does not offer:
- legal advice
- a patent clinic staffed by students
- patent or trademark searches performed for you
The PTRC offers:
- Orientation (by appointment) to approaches to search the patent and trademark databases available on the open web
- Basic material and orientation on what are patents and trademarks
- Access to the open web databases for patent searching.
- Resources for historical patent research
How to Use PTRC Services
Our services are both phyisical and virtual. Most of the PTRC resources are available on the open web. Most times there is no reason to come to the PTRC. Your questions and orientation can be delivered by email or phone.
You can visit the PTRC Work Stations Monday - Friday 11am to 4pm. Proceed to the Library Circulation Desk. When you arrive, ask the Desk Assistant to point you to the Login Book. After you log in, you will be escorted to the PTRC representative. After orientation you can perform your patent search at the U.S. Patent Office Patent Search page.
Pub EAST and PubWEST are the platforms offered only in the Public Search Facility and PTRCs. They are internal U.S. Patent and Trademark Office databases for use by USPTO patent examiners. These systems are generally for professional searchers, patent attorneys and agents. They are not user friendly as are open web search options. If you choose to use them, please allow extra time to familairize yourself with the systems. Only a few patrons choose to attempt to use them.
To discuss how the PTRC might assist you, contact Professor Jon Cavicchi. Call 603-513-5139 or email his office. He is also avialable to assist you via phone and chat.
Do you want to take the Next Step?
Any decision you take based on your search must be treated with caution. You will not be able to search all prior art so you may miss some and spend money on an application that will be rejected. You may find a patent you think prevents you from proceeding. A patent agent or attoreny might be able to draft an application to work around an existing patent. Drafting patents yourself is not impossible but to protect your property, applications must be drafted in a manner beyond your capacity.
The next step is to contact a patent attorney or agent who may also conduct a seearch and advise you on the merits of proceeding. Looking for an agent or attorney? Click here to search for attorneys and patent agents who are registered to practice before the United States Patent Office.
Public Presentations on Patent Search & Application Process
If your organization is organization is interested in having a guest speaker or demonstraton of USPTO resources, contact Professor Jon Cavicchi.
Just Getting Started with Patents?
Here are some useful websites, videos, and tools.
General Information Concerning Patents. This guide from the USPTO explains what a patent is and how to get one.
Conducting a Patent Search. A 50-minute presentation from the USPTO, explaining how to conduct a patent search and why it is important to be thorough. [Flash is required.]
Just Getting Started with Trademarks?
Basic Facts About Trademarks. This guide from the USPTO explains what a trademark is and how to get one.
Trademark Information Network. The USPTO has created a series of newscast-style videos to help you understand trademarks. Check them out!
International Patents and Trademarks
International Patent Protection. Links to information at the USPTO site about the Patent Cooperation Treaty, Common Application Format, and more.
Espacenet. Search patent documents worldwide from over 72 countries and regions. WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Intellectual Property Digital Library. Search international trademark registrations (Madrid system), international patent applications (PCT), and other databases; access guides, standards, laws, regulations, fees, statistics, FAQs, links, and more.
There is currently no internation open web trademark searching site.