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Want to patent that widget? With the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's new database you can check if someone else already has – without sifting through boxes of dusty files. The database offers full text of the 2 million patents dating back to 1976 plus trademarks and pending registrations since the late 1800s. Information abounds on everything from fees to fraudulent promotion firms. Non-inventors can also visit the PTO museum and its current exhibit.
– Susan Heavey, July 10, 1998

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