The welcome page explains that "the innovation and dedication of independent inventors have played a critical role in the USA's evolution into the most technologically advanced, economically vibrant power on earth". It continues that ever since it was founded in 1802, the USPTO has been dedicated to assisting independent inventors in utilizing America’s intellectual property system. A new comprehensive Inventor Assistance Program has been launched to expand the scope of services provided to independent inventors to make sure that they receive appropriate attention.
Information on patents includes:
- What is a Patent?
- Who can apply for a Patent?
- What can and cannot be patented?
- How do I know if my invention is patentable?
- How long does patent protection last?
- How much does it cost to get a patent?
- What is a PCT application?
- Frequently asked questions about patents
There is also similar information on trade marks:
- What is a Trademark?
- Why should I obtain a trademark?
- How do I register my trademark?
- What do I need to include in my trademark application?
- How much does it cost to apply for a trademark registration?
- How do I do a federal trademark search?
- Does the USPTO determine trademark infringement?
- Frequently asked questions about trademarks.
Though US law is different in some respects a lot of the information on both patents (which includes what we would call registered designs) would apply here too.
The site also contains plenty of good brochures some of which apply here. The excellent little card entitled "Scam Prevention" definitely does. Another really good feature that others could copy is a chat room for advice and many of the transcripts are published. An example of the latest one follows here. There is a lot of other good stuff such as whether to hire a patent attorney, funding and special inventors' events. Good stuff nephew Sam.