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Patents: Introduction and Resources

Crash Course: Patents Overview

(Video retrieved from CrashCourse on YouTube)

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Derek Nuzum
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Patent, Trademark, & Copyright E-books

The Constitutional Precedent for Patent Law in the United States


Constitution in the National Archives | The preamble and beg… | Flickr

U.S. Const. Art. I § 8, cl. 8 grants Congress the power to create patent laws, and established the idea that patents are valid for a limited time.

This statute states that anyone who: “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent”.

Researching & Searching for Patents

Business Source Complete - This EBSCO database provides over 1,000 full text business publications, including sources regarding patents.

The Official Gazette for Patents - published each Tuesday in electronic form only, and contains bibliographic (front page) text, a representative claim, and a drawing (if applicable) of each patent issued that week. This database gives access to the most recent patents filed, and covers up to the past 52 weeks worth of filed patents. Please note that the Official Gazette Notices are also included in each issue and provide important information and changes in rules concerning both patents and trademarks.

Google Patents - a great starting resource run by Google. The intuitive search tool allows you to access information on intellectual properties including patents, trademarks, servicemarks, and copyrights.   

USPTO Patent Full-Text Databases - this database provides full-text of a patent, which includes the claims made in the patent, descriptive information, and any images associated with the patent.

The Independent Inventors Webpage - specifically the “Inventors Resources” section offers a broad range of material covering most aspects of the patent and trademark process including how to spot scams. The site also provides links to other USPTO sources, as well as links to other federal agencies.