U.S. Patent Search
A patent gives an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing his invention. An invention can be patented based upon its useful features (a utility patent) or its appearance (a design patent). The links below are patent searches you can run on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office web site. They are not a substitute for a thorough patent search provided by intellectual property counsel, but they are a good starting point if you have an invention you believe may be patentable.