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 onlinellm.usc.edu]
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 Center Association 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.
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 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
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.