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Patent & Trademark Resource Centers

PTRC logo

The University of Utah Marriott Library is one of 80+ U.S. Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) in the country, and one of two in the state of Utah. We celebrated our 35th anniversary of our PTRC designation in 2019.

PTRC representatives are information experts trained on how to use search tools to access patent and trademark information. PTRC representatives are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.

PTRC library representatives can:

  • Provide access to resources such as Patent Public Search and Trademark Search
  • 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
  • Offer assistance on how to do historical research on patents and trademarks
  • Show you how to track current research by company or nonprofit
  • Help you find assignee information and much more.


What are patents?

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

There are three types of patents:

  1. 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;
  2. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and
  3. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.


How do you search for patents and prior art?

You can search for both issued patents and patent applications on the USPTO's website.

Additionally, you can search Google Patents, but know that the information will not be as current as the USPTO's resources. Also, Google data mines searches, so be aware.


How can I find patents from foreign countries?

You can find patents from other countries by searching the patent office's websites.

Below are a few key patent offices:

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library