The Boston Public Library is a Patent and Trademark Resource Center. The Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center staff can help answer your patent and trademark questions.
Staff can assist with the following:
Staff can provide instruction in how to do search for patents and trademarks, but does not perform actual searches for patrons.
Contact us at email@example.com or call us at 617.536.5400. The Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center is located in the Lower Level of the Boylston Street Building.
The Boston Public Library, as others like it, has transitioned from being a "Patent and Trademark Depository Library" to being a "Patent and Trademark Resource Center." Many of the items associated with the depository aspect of the program are now available online. Staff can provide instruction in how to do patent searches, but we do not do searching for the public.
Patent and Trademark Resource Centers to have access to the USPTO's PUBWest and PUBEast databases. You can reserve time on the Patent computer for 3 hours per day.
A patent is an exclusive right to the use of an invention or innovation. One may develop the patent themselves or sell or license the patent to others. In general, the holder of a patent has the right to the patent for 20 years from the filing of the patent application. One may obtain a patent that would be an improvement on another's patented idea. However, they would not have the rights to creating the original idea, nor would the holder of the idea improved upon be able to use the improvement without the permission of the inventor of the improvement.
There are three kinds of patents:
In order to patent an invention or innovation, three criteria must be met. An invention must be:
Sometimes step 2 could be a dead end, with results that don't quite get you to the CPC number you need. In a case like that, you might want to jump to step 7 and check out the classification searches at Espacenet. The class number would be the same for the USPTO databases, so you would have the right number to work with. Another option is to track down the USPC (the USPTO's older classification system) by searching for "USPC" in the USPTO's webpage. The old index links to the old classification pages and allows for direct searches of the databases by the USPC. A huge caveat is that no patents have been indexed using the old system since January 2015. However, all the US patents have been reclassified using the CPC system, so you might be able to track down a number that way.
A Patent and Trademark Resource Center largely concentrates on searching as part of the application process. The BPL's Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center has business resources that might be of assistance to you. Other resources that might be of help to inventors include:
Inventors Eye is the USPTO’s newsletter for the independent inventor community published since 2010. Browse through our archive to find stories about innovation, profiles of inventors, and tips and advice on USPTO services.
You can also sign up to receive an email (link is external) when the newest Inventors Eye issue is available.