If you are looking for financial funding for your invention, start by contacting any companies or organizations in your area that might share an interest in your idea or invention. You may be able to get guidance and resources for researching your idea or private funding for developing or marketing your invention.
The government does not provide direct funding for inventions. However, you may be able to find government-sponsored programs that offer help through the following resources:
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) can help you learn how to start a business, how to market and manufacture your invention, and provide you with referrals to financial resources.
- The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) website provides information that may help you find business opportunities from federal government agencies, state government agencies, and government-sponsored events.
The Inventors Assistance Center (IAC), part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), provides patent information and services to the public. The IAC can:
- Answer general questions about patent examining policy.
- Direct your call to appropriate USPTO personnel.
- Help you with filling out forms.
- Give you general information about rules, procedures, and fees.
- Send you patenting information.
Contact the IAC by phone at 1-800-PTO-9199 (1-800-786-9199) or 1-571-272-1000. TTY users may dial 1-571-272-9950. Or, visit the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, Virginia.
Get Local Help with Patents
Find a local Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC). PTRCs are a nationwide network of public, state, and academic libraries where you can get help from a trained librarian. These librarians can:
- Help you determine if someone else has already patented your invention or obtained a federal registration for a trademark on goods or services.
- Answer specific questions about the patent and trademark processes, but they will not provide legal advice.
For more information, contact the PTRC Main Office at 1-571-272-5750.
Need more help?
Check out the U.S. Patent and Trade Office’s resources for inventors.