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Patents & Trademarks

patent information for researcher and entrepreneurs, including free and PSU-only sources

What is the PTRC

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries is home to 1 of 3 Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC) in the State of Pennsylvania. The PTRC is housed in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library on the University Park Campus in State College, PA. As a PTRC, Penn State Libraries representatives can:

  • Provide access to USPTO resources
  • Direct you to information and explain the application process and fee schedule
  • Demonstrate how to use search tools to conduct a patent or trademark search
  • Show you a directory of local patent attorneys who are licensed to practice before the USPTO
  • Offer classes on intellectual property (varies by location)
  • Offer assistance on how to do historical research on patents and trademarks
  • Show you how to track current research by company or nonprofit
  • Help you find assignee information and much more.

PTRC logo that states, "PTRC: patent and trademark resouce centers www.uspto.gov/ptrc"

If you are not in the University park area, see the PTRC locations by state to find the one nearest to you.

Finding Help at Penn State

PTRC consultations can be held virtually, through Zoom or email, or in-person, at the Physical & Mathematical Sciences Library in Davey Lab on the University Park Campus.

If you would like patent or trademark research help, click "Book an Appointment Now" and our PTRC representative will be in touch. 

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Additionally, librarians throughout Penn State Libraries and across the Penn State Campus locations share expertise in patents and trademarks; they can provide further support. See the list below for additional support.

  • John Meier -
    • Location: University Park
    • Head of STEM for Engagement and Outreach
    • Contact email: jjm38@psu.edu
  • Sara Hess -
    • Location: University Park
    • Business and Entrepreneurship Librarian
    • Contact email: sfh5542@psu.edu
  • Lori Lysiak -
    • Location: Penn State Altoona
    • Reference and Instruction Librarian
    • Contact email: lal29@psu.edu

Parking Information and Maps

History of the PTRC

The Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program was established in 1871 to make printed patents available to the American public.  Today, the overwhelming majority of patent and trademark information is available electronically and the mission of making it easier to find is carried on by a network of approximately 85 academic, public, state, and special libraries across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico.