Skip to Main Content

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


Patents and Trademarks Basics (NCSU Libraries)

Patents & Trademarks Guide - Tufts Libraries


Find Patents from Government Agencies

Find Trademarks in the United States

Science Patents & Licenses


USGS - Patents & Licenses