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Patents and Trademarks   Tags: intellectual_property, patents, trademarks  

The Ryan-Matura Library is a United States Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC).
Last Updated: Apr 8, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Conducting a Preliminary Patent Search

Before you visit, It is recommended that you watch this online tutorial on conducting a preliminary patent search.  This tutorial was created by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, an agency of the Department of Commerce.


What you should know about Google Patents

"Google is a very significant player in the world of patent searching now.  They have accomplished something that no other patent office, or to my knowledge, any of the for-fee patent databases have done, which is to have made nearly all US an European patent documents available in searchable full-text. However, they have used optical character recognition to create digital full text from the TIFF images of the old paper documents, and this has not been perfect. The oldest patents were hand-written, usually in very fancy script that can not be perfectly transcribed by OCR algorithms. It has also recently been pointed out that thousands of patents are actually missing from the Google database. Also of importance is that classification searching on Google is completely unreliable."

-from an interview with Martin Wallace, Science & Engineering Librarian at the University of Maine, Orono, and serves as Maine’s only representative to the Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC),


  Patent and Trademark Resource Center

The Patent and Trademark Resource Center services and the USPTO workstation are located on the main floor in the Ryan-Matura Library.  You do not have to be a Sacred Heart University student, faculty or staff member to use the PTRC workstation or consult with a librarian.

PTRC Services offered at the Ryan-Matura Library:


  • Assist people in understanding how to conduct a preliminary patent or trademark search
  • Assist people in locating up-to-date patent & trademark resources
  • Provide access to PubWest &  PubEast (patent examiner tools) for advanced searchers

Recognizing that intellectual property research is a complex endeavor with important legal and financial implications, our services are designed to support the individual or corporate/legal researcher's efforts to conduct self-directed and preliminary research.

Library staff cannot offer legal advice, conduct searches, assist in writing applications, guarantee completeness of searches, or advise on ideas. All final research, regarding intellectual property determinations, should be done in consultation with proper intellectual property legal professionals.

We will make every effort to protect the confidentiality and privacy of researchers.

Please contact Robert Berry at or 203-365-4842 in order to set up a visit to the PTRC at Sacred Heart University Library.  Please indicate your name, email, phone, & a preferred day/time to visit. 

Subject Guide

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Robert Berry, Esq.
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Robert Berry
Research Librarian, Social & Behavioral Sciences
Ryan-Matura Library, Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825
Telephone: 203-365-4842
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Business Librarian

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Amy Jansen
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Reference Librarian & Guide to Information Jungle


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