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.
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."