Skip to Main Content

U.S. Government Information: Patents, Trademarks & Copyright

Guide to information resources by and about the federal government.


Trademark, Patent, or Copyright?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.  A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Must all marks be registered?  No, but federal registration has several advantages, including a notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration. 

A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.

A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.

(from the USPTO)

Official Gazette and related titles

The weekly Official Gazette (OG) is the official journal of the USPTO.  It includes bibliographic information and a representative drawing for each patent granted or trademark published on that issue date.  There are separate OGs for Patents and Trademarks; information about changes in rules for patents and trademarks can be found in the Notices section of the OG. 

Some of the Official Gazette content can be found online at the USPTO website.  The UCSD Library also has print, microfilm, and/or cd-rom access to many of the OG and related volumes.  The list below shows major titles and holdings at the UCSD Library.

Clicking on the "more" link under the title will show additional access points in the San Diego area and online.  Legend:

SDPL = San Diego Public Library

SDSU = San Diego State University

SRLF = Southern Regional Library Facility (UC-affiliated)

USD = University of San Diego


Searching for patents & trademarks