Patent & Trademark Resource Center
About the Center
The San Diego Public Library (SDPL) is an officially designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) that is part of a nationwide library network maintained by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The Patent and Trademark Resource Center is located on the 3rd floor of the Central Library. You do not need to visit SDPL in-person to access search tools, but the library provides certain resources (e.g. a current collection of full-color Plant patents, and legal reference books) that are only accessible in-person.
PTRC Representatives are library staff who are information experts trained on how to use search tools to access patent and trademark information. Representatives can:
- Demonstrate how to use search tools to conduct a patent or trademark search
- Direct you to information and explain the application process and fee schedule
For in-depth assistance, please contact Sarah Hendy-Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or request an appointment below:
Special Events from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
September 7, 2023 - VIRTUAL
Intellectual Property Basics and Helpful Resources
Unfamiliar with patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from USPTO experts about intellectual property (IP) basics and potential ways to protect your innovation as you transition from idea to product.
The Midwest Regional USPTO offers this session for aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, and students the first Thursday of each month. Space is limited, so register early.
The discussion will cover:
- An overview of intellectual property types: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets
- Why innovators and entrepreneurs should consider protecting their IP
- Local resources and assistance available through the USPTO and other agencies
September 15, 2023 - VIRTUAL
Demo of the new trademark search system
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is holding virtual demos to introduce you to the new trademark public search system, show you the new system's capabilities, and prepare you for the transition from the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
This session takes place Friday, September 15, from 2-3 p.m. ET and will conclude with a question-and-answer period. The demos will be provided live via Webex.
The event is free, but space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. For more information, or to submit your questions before the event, contact TMWebinar@uspto.gov.
September 21, 2023 - VIRTUAL
Getting started with Patent Public Search
Are you puzzled by patent searching or confused by the patent searching options available on the internet? Whether you are a novice searcher or an experienced one, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is here to help.
Librarians from the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program, who are experienced with educating users on USPTO search tools, will show you how to use the new Patent Public Search tool. The virtual webinar will be held on Thursday, September 21, from 2-3 p.m. ET.
September 26, 2023 - VIRTUAL
First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Pilot Program webinar
This free webinar is part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2) efforts to encourage innovation by increasing accessibility to the patent system for inventors, including those in historically underserved geographic areas and economic groups, and will walk participants through the First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Pilot Program benefits and eligibility criteria.
The First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Pilot Program supports inventors who have not previously participated in the patent application process. The benefits of this program are provided at no additional cost to the applicant. Patent applications accepted into this program will receive special status, which expedites the first office action on a patent application. The first office action is a patent examiner’s written notice of findings based on their initial examination of the patent application. Join us to learn more.
What is a patent?
How to Get Started
- 7 Step US Patent Search Strategy Guide
- How to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search: a Step by Step Strategy (Tutorial Video)
- United States Patent & Trademark Office - Learn about the patent application process. Search for patents and published patent applications. File your own patent application.
- USPTO Webinars - Free live webinars offered by the USPTO's Silicon Valley Regional Office.
- Conociendo sobre la Propiedad Intelectual - En el presente site podrá encontrar información relevante sobre todos los aspectos de la propiedad intelectual. Para mayor información u orientación, favor visitar o hacer cita en el Centro de Recursos de Patentes y Marcas de la Biblioteca General del Recinto Univresitario de Mayagüez de la Universidad de Puerto Rico.
- European Patent Office - The official website of the European Patent Office (EPO). Find information on applying and searching for patents, legal issues on patents, patent grants, rules and regulations about European and international patent applications.
- WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization - WIPO is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through co-operation among States and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property.
- Japan Patent Office - Learn about intellectual property in Japan.
U.S. Patent Search Tools
- Patent Public Search - Patent Public Search was created in 2022 to replace the Pub EAST and Pub WEST systems with a single, more robust online platform that provides the public access to search tools used by patent examiners.
- PAIR - Patent Application Information Retrieval - Get information about a patent application's status.
- Patent Assignment Search - Search for Patent Assignment information beginning August 1980.
- Official Gazette for Patents - The Official Gazette for Patents allows you to see patents issued each week and is available online for the past year. You can browse by classification or type of patent.
International Patent Search Tools
- Espacenet (EPO) - Search the European Patent Office database.
- Patentscope (WIPO) - Search for international patent documents.
- Industrial Property Digital Library (JPO) - Search Patent Abstracts of Japan.
- Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service - Search Korea's patent database.
What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?
How to Get Started
Videos about Trademarks
- Introduction to the USPTO and Trademark Basics
- Before You File
- Applicant Information
- Drawing Issues
- USPTO Trademarks - Start here for information about United States trademark searching and registration.
- California Trademarks - The State of California maintains its own trademark and service mark registry.
- International Trademark Association - Learn about trademark protection around the world.
- OHIM - Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs): The European Union agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs that are valid in all 27 countries of the EU.
- Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks - Learn about how to protect your mark in foreign countries.
Trademark Search Tools
- Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) - Search for registered trademarks and service marks in the United States.
- Design Search Code Manual - Find the codes needed to search for specific kinds of images in TESS.
- Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (TSDR) - Use this database to obtain information about pending and registered trademarks.
- Official Gazette for Trademarks - The Official Gazette for Trademarks is issued each week. In addition to providing information about new marks, the Gazette lists cancelled and renewed registrations.
A trademark can be claimed with the letters TM written in superscript: TM
A service mark can be claimed with the letters SM written in superscript: SM
A trademark or service mark that has been registered with the USPTO is signified by the letter R with a circle around it: ®
What is Copyright?
- United States Copyright Office - The home page of the U.S. Copyright Office. Learn about copyright; search for registrations; download forms; register your work online.
- Copyright Refresher - An overview of copyright from the USPTO.
- World Intellectual Property Organization - Copyright and Related Rights - Learn about copyright in an international context.
Copyright Search Tools
- Copyright Catalog (1978 to present) - Search records of registered books, music, art, and periodicals, and other works. Includes copyright ownership documents.
For registrations prior to 1978, please contact the Central Library.
Small Business Resources