Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
rutgers library logo dark

Patents: General Info

Useful information for the individual inventor.

The History of Patent Law

500 B.C.E. First intellectual property protection reference for chefs in Sybaris. 247-180 B.C.S. Vituvius proved intellectual property theft. 1-100 B.C.E. Hints of intellectual property rights in early Rome. 1421 First statute to protect inventors' rights in Florence. 1474 First lasting patent for intellectual property protection. 1561-1610 English crown grants monopolies. 1624 England passes statute of monopolies. 1710 Statute of Anne grants authors copyrights. 1790 US Patent Act first established. 1839 US Patent Office established. 1849 Definition of US Patent Act extended. 1873 Intellectual property protection is a global issue. 1883 Paris Convention for international intellectual property protection. 1893 Predecessor of world intellectual property organization formed. 1950 US Patent Law's standard established.The University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law has created an infographic that provides some highlights in the history of patent law, starting at around 500 B.C. and including the first ever recorded document that granted rights to an individual and the establishment of the U.S. patent act in 1790. [Image from]

Patents at the Library of Science and Medicine

Since 1989, the Library of Science and Medicine (LSM) has been a depository library for United States patents and trademarks. LSM has a complete collection of United States utility, design and plant patents (USAPAT) and patent applications (USAAPP) on DVD-ROM.  The collection is accessible on the CASSIS2 computer workstation in the LSM reference area. 

The Patent and Trademark Resource Centers  maintains a comprehensive list of online resources for patents and trademarks.  This list includes links to the intellectual property offices of various foreign countries, resources for inventors including links to inventor groups and associations, and a comprehensive list of patent and trademark databases with full descriptions of their coverage.  Follow the "Online Resources" or "Historical Patent and Trademark Databases" links from the left sidebar of their home page.

General Information Concerning Patents
This online brochure was prepared by USPTO. It provides FAQ for US patent information. This site is extremely useful for a new user to get familiar with patent.


See this excellent tutorial from the US Patent and Trademark Office on how to conduct a preliminary U.S. patent search.

Conducting a patent search is a complicated process.  To learn how to search patents, please consult one of the tutorials available at Patent Searching Tutorial (University of Texas at Austin). By following these tutorials, you will learn the basics of conducting an invention search.

Patent Lens  has compiled a comprehensive list of Patent Tutorials and FAQs.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has a very comprehensive e-Tutorial on how to use and exploit patent information.  The tutorial is interactive, and arranged in three sections: patent basics, patent search and retrieval, and patent analysis.

How to Search for Patents

UCF Libraries

This video explains patent classification systems and demonstrates how to conduct a patent search step-by-step using the free global patent database, Espacenet. Video written and created by Karli Mair in collaboration with Patent Librarian Hal Mendelson.

New Jersey Patents

My Profile

Profile Photo
Connie Wu
JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.

Rutgers University

(O) 5x4728
Subjects: Engineering

© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.