For many businesses, exploiting and protecting Intellectual Property (or IP) rights is a core business activity. So it’s essential you do your homework to find out if others are treading on your toes – or if you’re infringing others’ intellectual property rights.
Here are a number of resources that will help you search various countries’ patents and find IP information.
You can perform free searches of the US Patent Office and find EU, German and Japanese patent documents at FPO, a free resource that includes blogs and articles on IP. You can also visit the US, EU and and UK patent offices directly, all of which have plenty of free tools and resources covering patents, copyright and trade marks.
If you’d like to license out your own intellectual property, Creative Commons offers a simple, standardised way to protect and share your IP.