Patents & Trademarks
What are Patents?
A patent is the legal right of an inventor to exclude others from making or using a particular invention. This right is customarily limited in time, to 20 years from the date of the application submission in most countries.
(New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition)
What are Trademarks?
A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark.
(U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
Patent & Trademark Guides
Find Patents from Government Agencies
- US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patents Database
Divided into separate databases for patent applications and awarded patents
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
WIPO is an agency of the United Nations - database allows searching for patents worldwide
- European Patent Office
Includes PDFs of US patents filed in other countries
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Database
- China Patent Office Database (SIPO)
- Japan Patent Office (JPO)
Find Trademarks in the United States
- USTPO Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)
- USTPO Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR)
Unified searching on the status and background information on trademark filings and renewals.
- USPTO Trademark Assignments Database
For tracking the history and status of trademark ownership. Provides insights into company histories as well.
- California Trademark Search
This search provides access to available information for trademark registrations and modifications of record with the California Secretary of State, including free PDF copies of imaged trademark documents.
Science Patents & Licenses