Friday, May 16, 2014

Information for Local Saint Louis Inventors and the Public

Located in the Central Library of the Saint Louis Public Library (SLPL), is the Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC). One of the first twenty-two Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries set-up across the United States, it was established in 1870. The SLPL PTRCS has been a place for inventors to come to for information pertaining to questions such as:  How do I use the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the USPTO) web site? Where can I find a fee schedule for patents and trademarks? Where can I find out how much I owe on my patent maintenance charges?

In 2014, there are eighty-four PTRCs located throughout the United States. Many of these PTRCs are situated in a university. However, although many are serving an academic community, they are also serving outside of these communities. The Saint Louis Public Library is one of many found in a public library setting. This makes it easier for individual inventors to use. PTRCs can also be found in state and county libraries.

As the USPTO states on their web site, PTRCs have trained specialists that are designated to disseminate patent and trademark information and to support the diverse intellectual property needs of the public. As librarians, we are not attorneys, and thus, do not provide legal guidance. However, we welcome the public to visit, phone, or email us to learn what tools are available to help them decide if they should apply for a patent or trademark.