The California State Library has been a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), originally called a Patent and Trademark Depository Library, since 1979. Library staff can assist with general questions and provide assistance and instruction in the use of patent and trademark resources.
We provide access to the electronic and print patent and trademark resources the USPTO makes available to PTRCs and the public, all of which are available at no cost. For instance, we have a current collection of full-color plant patents available in print and we have dedicated computers, with extended time limits, to perform patent searches.
Please note that staff cannot perform patent or trademark searches for individuals and cannot give legal advice. For legal advice, please contact a registered patent attorney or agent. More specialized questions should be directed to the USPTO.
Do you have an idea or invention that you want to patent? Read up on the basics of the United States patent process and learn how to perform a thorough patent search.
- General Information Concerning Patents
- 7 Step U.S. Patent Search Strategy Guide
- How to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search: a Step by Step Strategy (Tutorial Video)
- Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)
- Search USPTO Patent Full Text and Image Database (PatFT)
- Search USPTO Patent Application Full Text and Image Database (AppFT)
- Search Foreign Patents
Do you want to protect your company name or logo in the United States? Read up on trademark basics and search to see if someone already has trademarked your name or design. Or learn more about trademarking your name in California from the Secretary of State.
Because patent and trademark information is publically available, the USPTO has resources available to help rights holders protect themselves from popular scams including unsolicited communication that at first glance appear to be "official" but are not actually from the USPTO. Learn how to protect yourself and your intellectual property with information from the USPTO about Scam Prevention.
Library staff can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone at 916-323-9843, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding state holidays.
Contacting us by email or phone before visiting us in person is strongly recommended. It is not uncommon for patent and trademark assistance to involve more than a short conversation. If additional time is needed, an option to make an appointment with library staff is available.