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J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

Patents & Trademarks

Free Resources from the USPTO

Ask Us

Librarians are available to answer your questions. Click on the Ask Us bubble for FAQs and contact options (chat, email, text, phone).

Legal Advice Disclaimer

PTRCs are able to instruct patrons in the use of databases and other information resources in order to enable patrons to conduct their own patent or trademark searches.

PTRCs are not able to conduct patent or trademark searches for patrons, as doing so could be considered legal advice. PTRCs are also prohibited from offering other types of legal advice, including opinions about whether an invention is patentable, specific classifications that should be considered, filing applications, or recommending a patent attorney.

A database of patent attorneys, searchable by geographic area, is available here.

Welcome to the PTRC

The Van Pelt and Opie Library at Michigan Technological University is home to the Upper Peninsula's only Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC). Each of the 90+ PTRCs in the nation are part of a nationwide network of public, state, and academic libraries designated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to support the public with trademark and patent assistance.

All services are available to the public and to Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff at no charge.

Services include:

  • Appointments for searching help with trained librarians - email
  • Patent and trademark searching workshops
  • Books and other informational resources on patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property issues


University Policies

The Michigan Technological University's Board of Control Bylaws and Policies, Chapter 14, addresses Patents and Proprietary Rights for employees and students at Michigan Tech. Section 14.3 contains the University's Copyright Policy Regarding Scholarly, Academic and Artistic Works.