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When attempting to determine a product's commercial feasibility, it is a good idea to perform a patent search. This can be helpful in determining if the technology is unique and in finding competing technologies.
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
Includes information on obtaining a patent or trademark in the United States, as well as the ability to search for United States patents and patent applications. Full-image patents from 1790 to present. Requires installation of TIFF viewer plug-in in order to view images.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.
The IP Advantage database provides a one-stop gateway to case studies that chronicle the intellectual property (IP) experiences of inventors, creators, entrepreneurs and researchers from across the globe. The case studies offer insights into how IP works in the real world and how its successful exploitation can contribute to development.
United States patent search engine. Home page includes links to most popular patent topics and companies. Advanced search available.
Basic Sources of Information on Patents and Trademarks
Princeton University Library page with information on other basic sources of information on patents and trademarks.