Government Resources · Patents, Trademark & Copyright

Basics of Intellectual Property

Basic Facts About Patents
Useful information from the Patent & Trademark Office.
Basic Facts About Trademarks
Useful information from the Patent & Trademark Office.
Intellectual Property Rights – Ohio State Bar Association
Resource for information about patent, trademark, and copyright basics.
Patent Business Methods – US Patent & Trademark Office
Current information on Business Method-related patent topics and issues.
Patents at the Cincinnati Public Library
Fundamental background information on patents and tips on using the Main Library’s patent collection.


Copyright Clearance Center –
Covers copyright law, copyright protection, and creating a copyright compliant environment.
Copyright Office of the United States
Official Copyright Office site at the Library of Congress offering forms, information, and a searchable database of copyright registrations.
Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
Handy table that outlines copyright terms and conditions and how to determine if a work or publication falls under public domain. Includes list of references.
Music Library Association - Copyright for Music Librarians
Latest music copyright news, FAQs, guidelines, and helpful links as they apply to the fields of music and music librarianship.
Publicaciones oficiales en Español de la Oficina del Derecho de Autor
Este sitio web proporciona la información del copyright y formas de registro básicas del derecho de autor.
This Business of Music – Online Resources
Music business study materials, techonolgy & media, news stories, and links. From the author of This Business of Music.

Historical Patents and Famous Inventors

African-American Inventors
Biographical sketches of famous African-Americans and their inventions.
The Black Inventor On-line Museum
Showcases great and often unrecognized pioneer inventors and innovators.
Cincinnati Inventors Database
Indexes United States patents issued to inventors in Cincinnati and Hamilton County through the late 1800s. Search for inventors or inventions by keyword or browse by inventor or invention name. All Cincinnati patents through 1873 are included with some later dates.
Doodles, Drafts, and Designs - Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian
Industrial drawings of a variety of inventions such as Tupperware, the shopping cart, and Crayola crayons.
The Great Idea Finder
Gateway to virtually all available X patent images from 1790-1836. Includes links to historic patents from 1836-1975 and 1976-present.
Index of African American Inventors - Historical
List of historic African American inventors and their inventions; some with U.S. Patent numbers and brief biographical narratives. Also includes information about science and engineering accomplishments of African Americans.
Inventors at
A to Z inventors and inventions. Also includes inventor-related links and lists of African-American Inventors, Women Inventors, Wacky Patents, and more.
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Visit the Hall of Fame Library and browse by inventor name, invention title, or decade. Other subjects include marketing your invention, patent basics, and online invention competitions. The National Inventors Hall of Fame is located in Akron, Ohio.
Presidential Patents
Listing of patents by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and others.
Women Inventors Index - 1790–1895
Site offers browsing and searching of U.S. patents issued to women between 1790–1895 by inventor name, geography, patent title, subject, year, and more. Created by Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

International Patents

Asian Patent Information
European Patent Office provides search services, translation services, and a virtual help desk for patent literature from Japan, China, and Korea.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Official Canadian patent and trademark website.
European Patent Office
Although this is the best place to start an international patents search, U.S. Patents may also be keyword searched back to 1920. This site extends access to multiple databases: European (EP) patents, PCT (WO) patents, Japanese (JP) patents, etc.
German Patent & Trademark Office
The German Patent & Trademark Office (DPMA) provides free online searching from patent publications from around the world including DE, WO, CA, and AU patents. Supplies unique patent family searching and more.
International Intellectual Property
Includes sites covering international patent laws, regulations, agreements, standards, trade statistics, and more. From the USPTO.
Japan Patent Office
JPO furnishes Japanese patents via Patent Abstracts of Japan, Patent & Utility Model Gazette, Patent & Utility Model Concordances, and Classification (FI) search.
World Intellectual Property Organization
Patent Cooperation Treaty database of international patent applications.

Inventor Resources

Independent Inventors Resources
USPTO site devoted to serving the special needs of inventors and entrepreneurs.
Inventor Resources
Information about product promotion, market research, product assessment and evaluation, patent searching, etc.
Lemelson-MIT Invention Dimension
MIT site provides a wealth of inventor and invention resources including inventor profiles, patent guidelines, links to online invention resources, and more.

Legal Information

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
Academic project dedicated to helping small web publishers understand legal issues that affect and govern online activities such as copyright and fair use, linking protocol, domain names, and more. Also lists recent cease and desists examples.
Legal Information Institute
Patent law fundamentals and downloadable copies of statutes and cases.
Nolo Press Legal Information
Online encyclopedia of patent, trademark, and copyright information.
Report of the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Intellectual Property
Defines intellectual property and why its protection is important. Proposes methods for the Department of Justice to expand and enhance protecting the nation's intellectual resources.
Register and protect intellectual property assets. Learn how to secure trademarks, patents and copyrights overseas and file an intellectual property rights complaint.
Thomas - Text Word/Phrase Search of Patent-Related Bill Legislation
Patent-related bills currently pending before the current 109th U.S. Congress (2005-).

Patent & Trademark Searching and Registration

Electronic Orange Book – Food and Drug Administration
Search FDA-approved drugs by active ingredient, proprietary name, applicant holder, etc.
Free Patents Online
Download PDF versions (which are faster to print than the TIFF images on the USPTO site) of millions of post-1975 patents.
Google Patent Search
This Google search engine lets you search United States patents issued back to 1790.
Guide to Filing a Non-Provisional (Utility) Patent Application
Basic information about filing a utility patent application and a guide to related USPTO forms.
How to Search – U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
USPTO list of links to essential search guides and databases by topic.
PAT2PDF – Free PDF copies of patents
Download PDF versions of patents. A speedier alternative to the USPTO website.
Patent Alert - Free Online Service
Subscribers to this service receive periodical updates about inventions recently patented in the United States. Subscriptions can be customized.
Patent Search Tutorial
Tutorial from the University of Central Florida Libraries designed to help inventors conduct preliminary research of U.S. patents.
Patent Search Tutorial and Information
This online tutorial focuses on searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) Web Patent Databases.
Patent Technology Centers
Useful telephone directory of Patent Office Technology Center Contacts for Independent Inventors.
Scirus – Science Search Engine
Find the latest reports, journal articles, and patents related to science-related prior art.
Search Templates by Class at the USPTO
Lists prior art examples which patent examiners utilize for patent applications.
Seven Step Strategy - USPTO
The USPTO’s official guide to performing a patent search using their classification system.
State Trademark Agencies and Databases
Office addresses and web links for all State Trademark Agencies. Some state websites also offer business name searching.
Trademark Design Search Code Manual
Codified index of design figurative elements listed by category. Contains: (1)the general guidelines, (2)the design search code and (3)an alphabetical index.
United States Patent and Trademark Office - Forms
Locate current forms for patent or trademark registration by form number or title.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Official Patent and Trademark Office site with forms, information, and search capability for patents and trademarks.