A patent is a grant of property right by the government to an inventor preventing others from making, using, or selling an invention for a period of 20 years from application date. The most comprehensive source for U.S. patent and trademark information is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.
Useful USPTO Links:
Additional Resources for Patents:
Searchable full text/full page images of U.S. patents from USPTO. An alternative interface to searching USPTO that allows users to take advantage of the simple Google search.
USPTO Patent Database
Searchable full text/full-page images of U.S. patents from 1976 to present. Patents issued from 1790 to 1975 are only searchable by patent number or current U.S. patent classification. Patent applications filed from March 15, 2001 to date available.
European and World Patents (Espacenet)
Worldwide coverage with over 38 million patent documents from 71 countries. Searchable bibliographic data back to 1920 for select countries including France, Germany, Great Britain, and the U.S. PDFs available for over 30 countries, including Germany from 1877, Great Britain from 1920, and U.S. from 1836.
Canadian Patents Database
Searchable abstracts and claims back to 1978, other fields, such as titles and names, searchable back to 1920. Facsimiles in pdf format extend from 1920 to the present.
Medical College of Wisconsin Office of Technology Development
The MCW OTD is responsible for managing the discoveries, inventions, and other intellectual property assets of the Medical College of Wisconsin and advancing these discoveries from Patents to Patients®.