What is a Patent?
"A patent is a document issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that grants a monopoly for a limited period of time on the use and developemnt of an invention which the USPTO finds to qualify for patent protection."¹
The U.S. Patent Office issues three main types of patents:
- Utility: This is the main type of patent issued. It is granted for something new or improved in an electrical, mechanical or chemical invention.
- Design: The design patent protects only the ornamental appearance of an article of manufacture.
- Plant: This type of patent applies to new varieties of botanical plants invented or discovered and asexually reproduced.
How many U.S. patents does Reference Services have?
Here's a list of the types of patnents and patents we have in the department:
- U.S. Patent Specifications and Drawings - 1790 TO DATE
- U.S. Design Patents - 1842 TO DATE
- U.S. Plant Patents - 1931 TO DATE
- U.S. Official Gazette - 1872 TO DATE
- Index to U.S. Patent Classification - LATEST
- Manual of Classification - LATEST
- Classification Definitions - LATEST
- Annual Index of Patents and Annual Report of the Commission - 1892 TO DATE
- Manual of Patent Examining Procedure - LATEST
- 35 USC Patents, Laws - LATEST
- 37 CFR Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights - LATEST
- Patent Attorneys and Agents Registered - LATEST
Does Reference Services have any foreign patents?
Here's a list of foreign patents in the department:
- United Kingdom Old Law Patents - 1617 TO 1981
- United Kingdom New Law Applications - 1979 TO DATE
- Patent Cooperation Treaty Applicant's Guide - LATEST
Where can I find more information?
The US Patent & Trademark Office's website has plenty of information, try taking a look at the following links.
- General Information Concerning Patents
- FAQs about Patents
- General Information About Plant Patents
- Patent Electronic Business Center
- Guide to Filing a Utility Patent
- Guide to Filing a Design Patent
- Patent Fees
- USPTO Forms
¹ Elias, Stephen. Patent, Copyright & Trademark. p. 186. Nolo Press, 1997.