Philly's Free Library Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC)
The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) is one of 84 Patent & Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC) in the United States and its territories, as designated by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).
PTRC “can provide in helping inventors and small businesses find the information they need to protect their intellectual property [IP]. However, PTRC representatives are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.”
Info from PA's PTRC:
The Free Library of Philadelphia is one of three Pennsylvania libraries designated as Patent & Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC), part of a national network of centers maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Philadelphia PTRC is located in the Business Resource & Innovation Center at the Parkway Central Library at 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 on the 2nd floor. We have a collection of brochures, handouts, and legal self-help books.
We also have a dedicated computer available for web-based patent searches with access to USPTO databases. You are free to use these resources any time the library is open. (The trademark databases, and most of the patent databases are also searchable from your home computer.) I can provide instruction on how to do your own self-directed patent and trade
I can highly recommend watching this video titled "Basic Facts: Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights" (from the USPTO) before your appointment, explaining the differences between different types of Intellectual Property. USPTO also has excellent How-To Videos on their site for Trademarks: Trademark Information Network andBasic Facts About Trademarks Videos sections.
I can also recommend these two books:
Patent It Yourself: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Filing at the U.S. Patent Office 18th Edition by David Pressman and Thomas Tuyschaevers ISBN-13: 978-
Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business & Product Name 11th Edition by Stephen Fishman J.D. ISBN-13: 978-1413322941; ISBN-10: 1413322948
These books are available through the Free Library of Philadelphia, or can be purchased on Amazon.com and are excellent resources to learn about the patent & trademark processes.
Please be advised that I cannot conduct the actual search for your proposed patent or trademark, however, and cannot interpret patent or trademark law. Please consult a registered patent agent or attorney for a complete search or legal advice.
Basic Facts: Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights
While it is too large to post here, the PTRC librarian provided their deck that goes into more detail about process and costs. If you would like access send me an email.
DO INVENTORS NEED AN ATTORNEY/LAWYER?
“Inventors may prepare their own applications and file them in the USPTO and conduct the proceedings themselves, but unless they are familiar with these matters or study them in detail, they may get into considerable difficulty. While a patent may be obtained in many cases by persons not skilled in this work, there would be no assurance that the patent obtained would adequately protect the particular invention. Most inventors employ the services of registered patent attorneys or patent agents.” uspto.gov/general info concerning patents/attorneys & agents
Help ~ Using Legal Services DIY 30% trademark 5-10% patents
(Search & opinion for around $1500)