Sponsored by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), since 2012 the IP Library has been part of a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries designated as PTRC's and authorized to disseminate patent and trademark information. The PTRC Program has been in existence since 1871 to provide public access to patents and trademarks.
To help you save time in planning your approach in trying to determine if contacting this PTRC is right for you, it is important to understand the very limited scope of services - to obtain an orientation to approaches to search the patent and trademark databases available on the open web.
The PTRC does not offer:
The PTRC offers:
Our services are both physical and virtual. Most of the PTRC resources are available on the open web. Most times there is no reason to come to the PTRC. Your questions and orientation can be delivered by email or phone.
You can visit the PTRC Work Station Monday - Friday 11am to 4pm. Proceed to the Library Circulation Desk. When you arrive, ask the Desk Assistant to point you to the Login Book. After you log in, you will be escorted to the PTRC representative. After orientation you can perform your patent search at the U.S. Patent Office Patent Search page.
Pub EAST and PubWEST have been decomissioned as of summer 2022. They were the platforms offered only in the Public Search Facility and PTRCs. They were internal U.S. Patent and Trademark Office databases for use by USPTO patent examiners. These systems are generally for professional searchers, patent attorneys and agents. Both PubEAST and the former open web patent search engines have been replaced by Patent Public Search.
The Patent Public Search tool is a new web-based patent search application that will replace internal legacy search tools PubEast and PubWest and external legacy search tools PatFT and AppFT. Patent Public Search has two user selectable modern interfaces that provide enhanced access to prior art. The new, powerful, and flexible capabilities of the application will improve the overall patent searching process.
To discuss how the PTRC might assist you, contact Professor Jon Cavicchi. Call 603-513-5139 or email his office. He is also available to assist you via phone and chat.
Any decision you take based on your search must be treated with caution. You will not be able to search all prior art so you may miss some and spend money on an application that will be rejected. You may find a patent you think prevents you from proceeding. A patent agent or attoreny might be able to draft an application to work around an existing patent. Drafting patents yourself is not impossible but to protect your property, applications must be drafted in a manner beyond your capacity.
The next step is to contact a patent attorney or agent who may also conduct a search and advise you on the merits of proceeding. Looking for an agent or attorney? Click here to search for attorneys and patent agents who are registered to practice before the United States Patent Office.
If your organization is organization is interested in having a guest speaker or demonstration of USPTO resources, contact Professor Jon Cavicchi.