How to use the patent collection of the NYS Library (1980)

Patent and Trademark Research at the New York State Library

February 2018

As part of the New York State Library’s bicentennial, this exhibit highlights the library’s history as a patent library. The New York State Library is one of the original 22 Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries. This program was begun in 1871 as a way to make information about inventions more widely available. In 2012, the name was changed to Patent and Trademark Resource Center to reflect the fact that most resources are available online.

second display case

The first case contains resources from the Patent Office for doing a Patent search. Originally the patent search process involved starting with Index to the Manual of Classification, finding the classification in the Manual of Classification and then proceeding to the Official Gazette to look for related patents. Once electronic information became available it was possible to search on CD-ROM rather than the Official Gazette. Now the CD-Roms have been superseded by the USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database (PatFT)).

first dispaly case

The center case contains items showcasing the New York State Library's years as a patent depository library and patent and trademark resource center library. A booklet on how to use the patent and trademark collection and a poster on how patent libraries promote business are still useful. The 1987 certificate was presented to the State Library by the US Patent and Trademark Office to as part of a reaffirmation of the program.

third display case

The final case contains commercial books which are used to help customers interested in obtaining a patent. The New York State Library has always had independent inventors come to use the library as a starting point in their patent research.

images from plant patents

The cases around the elevator lobby contain plant patents. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

These patents are from the most recent group placed on deposit at the State Library. Because colors can vary on computer monitors, plant patents are provided to Patent and Trademark Resource Centers in print so that inventors can get a true idea of how the plant looks.

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Exhibit curated by Stephanie Barrett

Last Updated: August 13, 2018