Intellectual Property: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Creators

A free course on Udemy, created by the Michelson 20MM Foundation, to develop a working knowledge of the basics of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Resources

The USPTO has a comprehensive website with information and guidelines on patents and trademarks. You can run a patent search or dig deeper into their network of public, state and academic libraries designated as Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries that house patent and trademark materials. The website also includes a streamlined Q&A for independent inventors and entrepreneurs to assist with patent matters and intellectual property.

Invention Help

Find information on the process and steps of invention for the nascent inventor. Beginning with special techniques to switch on the creative genius, to important advice for the selling and licensing processes. Inventors also can learn how to protect their inventions from fraud and scams.

Resources in Canada and Europe

Canadian inventors and innovative companies can find services such as invention evaluation, technology due diligence, market research and educational programs assistance. The patent granting authority for Europe provides tools for patent applicants, including a patent search program and current updates on official and legal patent information.
The association of independent registered patent attorneys that specialize in patent, trademark, copyright and licensing can help protect your idea. You can also find information about the laws, registration, and licensing provisions on the U.S. Copyright office website.

Free Patents Online

This website provides the full text of U.S. patents from #4,000,000 (circa 1974) to the present. The database is extremely user-friendly and allows visitors to download free PDF files of patent images. It also has a "Crazy Patents" page with quirky and eccentric listings ranging from "method of exercising a cat" to a "motorized ice cream cone."

Inventing Merit Badge

The Lemelson-MIT Program partnered with the Boy Scouts of America in 2010 to encourage Scouts to be inventive and solve real-world problems. The merit badge provides Boy Scouts with an understanding of the impact and importance of inventive thinking and doing. Learn more about the requirements of earning the Inventing Merit Badge.