The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers an Inventors Assistance Center (IAC), staffed by experts who can help with some aspects of the patent process , including filling out forms. 

What the Center can do for you

  • Answer general questions regarding patent examining policy.
  • Answer questions concerning necessary formats and items needed for your patent application.
  • Assist you with forms needed and with filling out the forms.
  • Direct your calls to appropriate USPTO personnel or web pages, as necessary.
  • Provide you with general information concerning patent examining rules, procedures, and fees.
  • Send you patenting information and forms via USPS mail or facsimile.

What the Center cannot do for you

  • Cannot give an opinion as to whether an invention is patentable.
  • Cannot provide legal advice or legal interpretations.
  • Cannot provide patent searches or other intellectual property research.
  • Cannot provide specific line-by-line completion of forms (but can provide directions).

How to Contact the Center

Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM (ET), except federal holidays
Toll-free: 800-PTO-9199 (800-786-9199)
Local: 571-272-1000
TDD/TTY customers can dial 800-877-8339 for customer assistance


There are also two Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC) in Wisconsin:


PTRC library representatives can:

  • Provide access to resources such as PubEAST and PubWEST, examiner-based search systems
  • Direct you to information and explain the application process and fee schedule
  • Demonstrate how to use search tools to conduct a patent or trademark search
  • Show you a directory of local patent attorneys who are licensed to practice before the USPTO
  • Offer classes on intellectual property (varies by location)
  • Offer assistance on how to do historical research on patents and trademarks
  • Show you how to track current research by company or nonprofit
  • Help you find assignee information and much more.


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