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The library has been a Patent Depository since 1977. On October 1, 2011, the Patent and Trademark Depository Library system was renamed the Patent and Trademark Resource Center system. The Dallas Public Library continues to participate in the program as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center.
Our collection is backdated to the first patents issued in 1790 and includes complete drawings and specifications for design, utility, reissue, plant patents, as well as defensive publications. It also contains patent cooperation, treaty publications, and European Patent Office Applications. The Government Information Center has all the materials needed to conduct a preliminary manual and online patent search.
The Library hosts Free Inventor Workshops and provides books on all aspects of intellectual property including patents, trademark and copyright.
Our resources include:
We are open anytime the Central Library is open.
Patent files are searched for many different reasons. You might wish to find out if your idea has already been patented or want a copy of the complete drawings and specifications of a particular patent. Or, you may want to find out what types of research are being done by certain companies or individual inventors.
If you visit the Library, we can coach you in the Seven-Step Strategy for searching patents. While we cannot do a search for you, we can certainly get you started.
We cannot give you legal advice. So if you need this kind of help, please consult an attorney who specializes in this area. At our Reference Desk, we have a listing that is published by the Patent and Trademark Office (online version). The Technology Commercialization Small Business Development Center can also make recommendations.
The USPTO has a brochure on how to avoid SCAMS.
Patent copies can be made by using the copy facilities located in the library.
Patent application items are available at the Government Information Center Reference Desk for you to photocopy.
Trademarks can be searched alphabetically by trademark name or by owner name through a mix of book and computer resources. You will also have access to pending federal trademark applications. Trademark information includes date of first use, a description of goods or services being offered, the owner's name and address, etc.
Our resources include:
U.S. Trademarks: All active and pending Federal registrations CASSIS (a free CD-ROM service provided by the Patent and Trademark Office). CASSIS contains information on federally registered and pending trademarks. Multiple workstations are available with high-speed access to government websites, including the online Trademark Electronic Search System database.
Forms and current fee schedules are available for photocopying at our Reference Desk. Again, we cannot help you with legal advice. If you need that kind of assistance, we suggest you consult an attorney who specializes in trademark law (at our Reference Desk, we have a listing that is published by the Patent and Trademark Office). This collection is available to the general public any time the library is open.
There is an excellent online video introduction to trademarks available at the USPTO website. You must have Windows Media Player installed to view the video. Here is a link to the page where the video is posted, and this is a direct link to the video.
The Copyright collection includes the Catalog of Copyright Entries as well as general books about copyright protection and use of copyrighted materials. Copyright application forms (TX, PA, SR, VA, RE, and SE) are no longer available in printed form. Applications can now be submitted electronically from the eCO Online system. However, we also have printed copyright submission forms available at our service desk on the 6th floor of the Central Library.
The U.S. Copyright Office also has a searchable online database of copyright records.
We can supply you with one copy only of the various copyright forms, or you can find them online.
For a fun introduction to copyright, you may want to check out the videos at the Copyright Clearance Center. They include a brief overview of copyright law, information about copyright in the workplace, and a crash course in campus copyright!
The USPTO offers several training modules on their web site. The modules are available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Russian. The modules currently available cover: