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About our PTRC | U.S. Patents | U.S. Trademarks | Maine Trademarks
Copyright Resources | Electronic Intellectual Property Journals | Product and Company Directories
Fogler Guide to Patents & Trademarks
U.S. Patents: Prior Art Searching Tutorial
Please view this thirty-six minute patent searching tutorial
How to Conduct a Preliminary
Patent Search prior to contacting the PTRC for assistance. Below is
a listing of other self-help tools for searching patents.
and Trademark Research Guide. Guide
to a wide variety of patent, trademark, and business
resources. Compiled by the Orono PTRC.
- U.S. Patent and Trademark
Information Concerning Patents:
This is a helpful booklet
available at the Orono PTRC or at this web site. Also
see the Independent
- U.S. Patent Database
Full page images of patents in TIFF format from 1790 to the present. Searching by
title and abstracts words, full text of patent, inventor or assignee is
only available for 1976 to the present. Comprehensive searching requires
the use of the Patent
Classification System. See the tutorial
for assistance in utilizing all the capabilities of this database.
The patent applications published since March 2001 are also searchable in a
- Electronic Patent Official Gazette.
Announcements of issued patents from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The most recent 52 issues of the Patent Official Gazette are available online. Prior
issues of the Gazette are available at the PTRCs. The
Electronic Patent Official Gazette allows you to browse or
search through the patents issued each week. You can
browse by geographic origin of the inventor, inventor or
assignee name and patent class and subclass. The Official
Gazette includes the summary of the patent and a representative
drawing. You can link to the full text of the patent from
- USPTO Patent
Assignments. Updated continuously as assignments are recorded.
Determine who has the rights to a particular patent or patent
- U.S. Patent Office.
Electronic Filing System. and
Application Information Retrieval. (PAIR) This system retrieves patented
and pending published applications. PAIR makes available the Image File
Wrapper (IFW) which is the scanned images of many of the application
documents that were submitted. Some inventors still request that their application
remain unpublished and unavailable. .
Maintenance Fees. Provides the means for patent holders to pay
maintenance fees and also allows checking on who currently owns a patent and
if the fees are up-to-date or if the patent has been abandoned.
- Manual of
Patent Examining Procedure. (MPEP) 8th ed., Rev. 6, 2007. U.S. Patent Office.
- Forms for conducting
business with the U.S. Patent Office.
- Search for
Registered patent agents and attorneys in Maine
Database of attorneys that have licenses to practice before the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office. For attorneys specializing in
trademarks, contact the Maine
State Bar Association at 1-800-860-1460 or 1-207-622-1460.
Patent Program:. is funded by the state legislature "to
support the commercialization and manufacturing of innovations in the State
by providing education and assistance with the patent process" They
provide prior art search assistance and evaluation.
U.S. Patent Resources in Fogler Library
- Index to the U.S. Patent Classification. (SciPTDL
T223.A25) December 2003. Also see the
online version. Provides a starting point to look for
- Manual of Classification. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (SciPTDL
T223.F4U5a) Updated for 2002. Also see the
online version. Can scan through the classes to find possible
appropriate class number to search.
- U.S. Patent Classification System Classification Definitions. (SciPTDL
Microfiche, C21.3/2) Also see the online
version. (Need to choose the definitions.) Provides in depth scope
notes and see references for how the classification system is applied by the
- Manual of
Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). 8th ed., Rev.
6, 2007. U.S. Patent Office.
- Subject-matter index of patents for inventions issued by the United States
Patent Office, 1790 to 1873. (SciPTDL T223.D7A45 1976 v.1 -
3). Helpful subject index which provides patent number, date of
registration, inventor, and inventor residence. For newer indexes, see Annual
Report of the Commissioner of Patents and General Index of the Official
- Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents and General Index of the
Official Gazette. 1840-2002. Indexes by inventor and
assignee name and by general subject or title words. They provide the
patent number, registration date and the volume and page number where it can
be located in the Official Gazette. These are the most effective
method for starting an investigation of an older patent or inventor. (SciPTDL
online availability from University of Michigan MBooks Project. For
older indexes, see Subject-matter index of patents for inventions issued
by the United States Patent Office, 1790-1873, above.
- United States Copyright Office
Home Page The Copyright Office is a division of the Library of
Basics provides essential background information on copyright, fair use,
and the advantages of registration. Information
Circulars are available on specific topics such as copyright renewal,
reproduction of works by educators, and registration of various types of
materials such as cartoons, visual materials and music. This site
provides the forms and
instructions necessary to register.
- U.S. Copyright databases:
copyright registrations and ownership documents. Coverage is 1978 to
present. For registrations prior to 1978 use the Catalog of Copyright
Entries, U.S. Library of Congress. ORO GOV DOCS STORAGE: LC
3.6/5. See also How
to investigate the copyright status of a work.
- Copyright Circular
15A - Duration of Copyright. - length of protection for published and unpublished works.
- Copyright and Fair Use (Stanford
University):An excellent, well-organized website including links to
overviews of the Copyright Law, primary materials (statutes, judicial
opinions, regulations, treaties), current legislation, and other copyright
and fair use sites on the Internet.
- Copyright Clearance Center.Obtain permission to use print or digital formats that are under copyright
protection. They provide an efficient mechanism for paying for using
materials for reserve, coursepacks, handouts, etc.
Copyright Renewal Database. Copyright renewal records received by the US
Copyright Office between 1950 and 1992 for books published in the US between
1923 and 1963. Created by Stanford University.
- Copyright Website:
website provides basic information on copyright in a user-friendly format.
Society of the USA Provides links to copyright information
resources all around the world.
- Creative Commons.
organization assists authors and artists with establishing a flexible range
of copyright protections. Rather than "all rights reserved"
they provide tools to establish "some rights reserved." They
also provide links to photograph and image collections, music, online books,
etc. that allow educational and possibly commercial uses. Also see the Science Commons.
Association of Law Libraries. Copyright Committee
Libraries Association. Copyright Issues. Addresses many issues including fair use, electronic reserves, distance
- Association of
Research Libraries. Copyright and Intellectual Property.
of Texas. Copyright Crash Course.
Contains tutorials and
courses on digital libraries, multimedia presentations, dissertation, and
many other topics.
- Copyright: An
overview.Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law
Pierce Law Center. IP Mall. Copyright.
- University of
Maine System. Statement of Policy Governing Patents and Copyrights.
Digital Information and Copyright
see if a similar product is already being sold. Also search for
similar product and company names to check on trademark
For more information, contact:
Science and Engineering Center
Patent and Trademark Depository
Raymond H. Fogler Library
Orono, Maine 04469-5729