The Free Library of Philadelphia is one of three Pennsylvania libraries designated as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), part of a national network of centers maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Located in the Business, Science and Industry Department at the Parkway Central Library, the center has a collection of U.S. patents dating back to 1790. We provide access, free of charge, to intellectual property resources in various formats and have a collection of legal self-help books that can be borrowed. Computers are available for web-based patent searches with access to USPTO databases, including PubWEST, the public version of the online search tool used by USPTO patent examiners for more advanced searches.
The reference librarians are here to provide assistance on how to do your own self-directed patent and trademark search using the various tools available at the PTRC. However, PTRC staff does not conduct the actual search and cannot interpret patent or trademark law. Please consult a registered patent agent for a complete search or a registered patent attorney for legal advice. A list of patent attorneys and agents is available.