Resources for Inventors

CNC Cost Reduction, provided by Todd Boley, our July 2021 speaker
The_Essential_CNC_Cost_Reduction_Checklist PDSCNC with HUBS.pdf

These links are from many various organizations that can help you to achieve success.

The Internet is full of information, however, it is always a good idea to find several sources to confirm the validity of the information. Other sources include professionals, such as patent attorneys, local Small Business Administration personnel, etc. These links are intended only as a starting point.

Texas A&M University Patent Law Clinic
Free Patent Assistance Available see

Learn Professional CAD
Free CAD Software With Intuitive Tutorials

Fusion 360 is free to students, teachers, small businesses making less than $100,000 per year, and hobbyists using Fusion 360 for non-commercial purposes. Click here to see the license information and activation instructions and here to download. The CAD files can be saved privately or shared, as desired and the software can be used either online or offline. The Fusion 360 license is renewable yearly for free.

Click here to view 13 excellent and intuitive Fusion 360 lessons by Paul McWhorter. It’s surprising how easy an advanced CAD program can be learned with the right instructions!

US Patent and Trademark Office
If you need detailed information on patents, then this is a MUST website to use. If you would like to conduct a detailed patent search go to If you need help on patents including, patent searching, patent attorneys and agents, patent assistance, patent classifications, patent forms etc., then go to and check out the excellent patent guides and manuals.

Google Patent Search
The search goes back to 1776, as compared to the USPTO search that only goes to 1976, and is lightning fast. It puts the first page of the patent, claims, and drawings up front so that you can get a quick review to determine if the patent is applicable or not. In the search listing, it provides information in addition to just the patent title, unlike the USPTO that just provides the title. Also, each word searched is highlighted. However, use this search for only a basic patent search. For a more detailed and exact search, use the USPTO website provided below.

Patent Lens
Free worldwide patent search site (based in Australia). This website provides general information on patents and intellectual property.

Inventright - Video and Blogs on Inventions and Patents
This website provides useful information on patents and inventions as related to things that you can do yourself, such as patenting, marketing, licensing, manufacturing, royalties, sell sheets, contacting potential licensees, etc.

Inventors Digest

New Inventions by Independent Inventors
This website provides recent inventions developed by independent inventors. The inventions are video based and narrated.

Edison Nation; Everyday Edisons ; United Inventors Association
If you are interested in general information related to independent inventors and patents, check out these websites. The United Inventors Association is a great source for general invention information.

This website presents the InventorsEye, an online bimonthly magazine for independent inventors provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Google Product Search
Like most other searches, you input key words for either a general search or an advanced search. Google Product Search then provides a quick image based listing of all products using the input key words. A corresponding website link is also provided for each product. This is a good way to conduct an invention search for products not necessarily patented. Remember that, if seeking a patent, accomplishing a patent search is not enough. A product search is also required to identify inventions/products that exist but were not patented.

Working with Plastics
This website provides detailed information on making items out of plastic including making molds.

Google Sketchup
Using Google Sketchup, you can make technical/engineering drawings for manufacture of prototypes and make 3D or perspective drawings for patents or marketing. In addition, you can rotate 3D models to view all sides and make animations.

Google Merchant Center
Google Merchant Center (formerly Google Base) is a new free means of advertising your product to the world without having a web page. You fill out a Google online form providing details about your product with key words called “attributes’ and submit. Your product will then appear on Google Product Search if the “attributes” are used in the search. If you have a lot of products, you can fill out a Google spreadsheet of the products. Google Base has a means for online product payment. You can also submit things other than products such as jobs, vehicles, recipes, events, activities, etc.

Invention Books: Ask the and
All the patent related books at Nolo are good books. In particular, most inventors read Patent Pending in 24 Hours by Richard Stim and David Pressman for information on preparing a provisional patent application and Patent It Yourself by David Pressman for detailed information on patents and for preparing a utility patent application. At Ask the Inventors, there are 2 good books that provide general information on inventions, patents and marketing, namely, Inventing on a Shoestring Budget and The Everything Inventions & Patents Book, both by Mary Sarao and Barbara Pitts.

Got Invention Radio
These internet radio websites, hosted by United Inventors Association certified professional members, stream useful audio information and resources for inventors on a weekly basis.

Small Business Administration

University of Texas at San Antonio, Institute for Economic Development

PDF Patent Documents Online
Database of US manufacturers
Foreign Suppliers and General Information
SCORE, Small Business Counseling, free Business Plan Templates and more
Public Relations: Get the word out