It is in your best interest as an inventor/researcher to be knowledgeable of the laws and procedures concerning patents. If you are already in the patent process, these resources can provide you with information about your rights as well as resources to assist you in your current circumstances.
Representatives from the U.S. Patent Office located in Virginia are available to speak with you from an official, free from bias, position. Inventors and researchers outside of the Virginia area can visit a local Patent and Trademark Depository Library.
United States Patent Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") is the federal agency overseeing all U.S. patents. The USPTO is a fine resource to discuss the patent process, ownership guidelines, recognition of co-contributors and other legal questions regarding protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property rights.
Their website (www.uspto.gov) has a multitude of resources available. If you prefer to speak to someone, the USPTO offers information and answers to questions by Customer Service Representatives by calling 800-PTO-1999 or 703-308-HELP. The Inventor's Assistance Center or the Trademark Electronic Business Center can answer more complex or procedural questions.
Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries
If you prefer face-to-face assistance, there is a national network of public, state, and academic libraries certified by the U.S. Patent Office to function as Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries ("PTDLs"). These centers maintain patent and trademark information and are available to support Intellectual Property inquiries. Their librarians are fluent in patent and trademark facts, but cannot offer legal advice.