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Patent Searching Basics

Getting started searching for patents; basic resources for patent searching; using patents for research; resources for inventors

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Tracy Bicknell-Holmes
Albertsons Library
1865 W Cesar Chavez Lane

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What is a Patent?

What is a Patent?

"A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. U.S. patent grants are effective only within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions...

The right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of the statute and of the grant itself, “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention. Once a patent is issued, the patentee must enforce the patent without aid of the USPTO."

Source:  What Are Patents, Trademarks, Servicemarks, and Copyrights?  United States Patent and Trademark Office, downloaded February 24, 2015 from

Patent Types

Patent Types

Utility Patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;

Design Patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and

Plant Patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

source: What are Patents, Trademarks, Servicemarks and Copyrights?  USPTO.  downloaded on 2-23-2015 from

Patent Basics

Patent Basics

Idaho Patent No. 2586719

Drawing Patent Number 2586719 by AP Ross Interlaced Segmented Artificial Fly body

Idaho PTRC

An Idaho Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC)?

Should Idaho have a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC)?  PTRC library staff can assist with the following:

  • Provide access to resources such as PubEAST and PubWEST, examiner-based search systems
  • Direct you to information and explain the application process and fee schedule
  • Demonstrate how to use search tools to conduct a patent or trademark search
  • Show you a directory of local patent attorneys who are licensed to practice before the USPTO
  • Offer classes on intellectual property (varies by location)
  • Offer assistance on how to do historical research  patents and trademarks
  • Show you how to track current research by company or nonprofit 
  • Help you find assignee information and much more

If you'd like to learn more about the possibility of having a PTRC in Idaho, contact Tracy Bicknell-Holmes!  Remember to supply your contact information if you'd like to hear back from me.