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University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries

Research Guides

Patents and Trademarks : Overview

A guide to information on patents and trademarks, patent searching, inventor resources and UW intellectual property resources.

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Definitions & Concepts

What is a Patent?

A patent is a grant of property right by the government to an inventor preventing others from making, using, or selling a new and useful invention for a period of 20 years from application date.

Intellectual Property

Watch a video on IP basics: Basic Facts: Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights


Watch: Science of Innovation: What is Innovation?  Video prepared by NBC Learn in cooperation with National Science Foundation and the USPTO.

Key Information

The most comprehensive source for U.S. patent and trademark information is the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: