On a snowy New York day in 1902, a woman named Mary Anderson had an idea. Why stop to clean off streetcar windshields by hand when you could use some kind of automatic wiper? One might call it a windshield wiper. She called it a window cleaning device and received patent number 743,801 for her idea.
Equity analysts have estimated the value of the Google trademark to be about $44 billion, over a quarter of the company's worth. But even more than being a significant intangible source of your company's value, a trademark protects your brand recognition and reassures customers that your product, is, in fact, coming from you.
The Patent and Trademark Resource Center at the Denver Public Library is here to help inventors and entrepreneurs get started on the path to obtaining patents and trademarks. Our team has received training from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and we can find answers to any questions that don't require a legal determination.
We have an appointment service to show you how to find what you need on the USPTO website, find local resources and search the patent and trademark databases. The PTRC also offers exclusive access to PubEAST software, the same program used by the examiners to search the patents and applications databases.
In your appointment, we'll review the steps you'll need to take before you begin the application process, as well as show you some ways to save money. Whether you are seeking a patent or a trademark, you will want to search the databases, and we will show you techniques that will save you time and help you feel confident that you are finding what you need. Patent seekers will want to search for prior art in the patent database (in other words, has anyone else patented your idea?), and trademark applicants will want to make sure that their trademark or logo isn't easily confused with pre-existing ones.
Not everyone has an invention to patent, but you never know what you might find in the attic. We've helped people identify objects they've found that must do something that may have been made by a relative or a historical figure. We're happy to try to help you identify your find. Bring in any information you might have about it, including the full name of the inventor (if known), where they lived, for whom they worked and when they might have created the object.
Or perhaps your company would like to manufacture a product and you need to check if it might be an infringement on someone's patent. Researchers and historians can use the patent database to study the history of technology. It even serves as a source to find expert consultants, potential employees and your competition.
We are available to speak to your organization about patents and trademarks. Our presentations can help beginners start on the right foot and be prepared to work with an attorney. Learn what you can do to succeed in this process.
The PTRC at DPL is located in the Reference Services department at the Central Library. Make an appointment and see how we can help you.