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Library Research Guides

Patents and Trademarks

This subject guide provides a starting point for research in patents and trademarks at the Patent and Trademark Resource Center at the AAEL at University of Michigan.

About Trademarks

The US Patent and Trademark Office offers FREE WWW searching for trademarks.

Trademarks apply to words, symbols, or devices used in trade (that's important -- if you aren't selling/trading something, you can't trademark it, naturally) to indicate the source of the goods or services. The trademark attempts to eliminate confusion between what you and I are selling. If I call my restaurant McDonalds, I invite confusion with other restaurants that coincidentally have the same name. So I would probably fail to receive a trademark, even if my restaurant serves only macrobiotic vegan soups. I could probably trademark the name "McDonalds" for my line of glow-in-the-dark motorized litter boxes, however.

Below is a brief overview of USPTO's trademark resources available on the World Wide Web. Please see the USPTO's trademark sectionfor a complete listing of their services:

 

More About Trademarks

For more information, following are some WWW Trademark pages. Also, see our Searching for Trademarks Page for more about searching for trademarks.