We have scoured the web for some of the most useful and relevant sites for aspiring and experienced inventors. Below is a list of our top 10 patent resources (besides our own of course ). If you have a site you would like to share, please email it to us or leave a comment! We always appreciate our users’ input.
U. S. Patent & Trademark Office
An obvious choice for this list, the USPTO is responsible for issuing patents in the United States. Their website, albeit a bit hard to navigate at times, is a great resource for all things patent and trademark related. If you need specific information on any topic related to patents, chances are it is on their site (you just have to find it!).
U. S. Copyright Office
Some ideas fall under copyright protection. The U. S. Copyright office provides great tools for individual inventors to learn about and seek copyright protection.
Google’s free patent search utility allows anyone to peruse patents issued by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. This is helpful for inventors with a new idea that they want to research themselves before hiring a lawyer to perform a full patent search. Remember to study the claims section of the patents carefully – this is where the important information is. The patent may look like your idea, but if the claims section does not cover your take on the invention, you may still have a money maker.
Free Patents Online is not exactly as the name suggests. The site is a free resource for inventors and attorneys alike to view and search patent documents, but it does not issue or give information on free patents (hint: there is no such thing as a FREE patent). This website is useful as a patent search tool and the main difference between Free Patents Online and Google Patent Search is the availability of a paid patent search service. So if you are unable to find a similar patent on your own, you can continue your efforts with their professional staff.
About.com | Inventors
This is a great resource for general inventor knowledge as well as the history of inventors and their inventions. About.com also has many good articles on good business practices.
Although it is not a site dedicated to inventors or patents, the Thomas Registry is a great resource. The site serves as a comprehensive listing of manufacturers and their contact information grouped by category. This allows inventors to research and contact companies within their particular industry and present their ideas to them.
Invent Now is a national organization designed to foster interest in the invention field. With programs centered around America’s youth, Invent Now is inspiring innovation in young, creative minds. The organization allows sponsors an annual inventors conference and the Invention Hall of Fame.