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Meet the USPTO’s new “IP Identifier” tool

In January, at a women’s entrepreneurship event hosted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Naples, Florida, a new intellectual property (IP) resource was introduced to businesses, the media and the general public alike.

At the event, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office unveiled the USPTO’s Intellectual Property Identifier tool.

This resource was specifically designed not for experts in the intellectual property field but for those who aren’t very familiar with researching intellectual property matters. As a result, it is being described as a user-friendly way for individuals to identify both whether they are in possession of novel intellectual property and which intellectual property protections they should secure to protect any IP that they may have.

Access to basic and advanced IP information

Even though the new IP tool was crafted by the USPTO, it allows users access to information about copyrights and trade secrets, in addition to patents and trademarks. When utilizing the tool, inventors, artists and entrepreneurs can choose to engage with the basic IP identifier mode or the advanced IP identifier mode.

The presence of these two modes suggests that even though the tool was created with “IP beginners” in mind, those who are relatively familiar with the IP registration and application processes but are not experts in the field may benefit from it as well.

The purpose of the tool, its intended audience and the motivation of its aspiring users is best summed up by a comment made by the Director at the Women’s Entrepreneurship event: “Protecting your IP is a smart and necessary business strategy, and the IP Identifier is a great starting point for those new to IP.”


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