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Ask Us: Business and Patent Library Centre (PatLib)

NEW: Patent Library Centre (PatLib) – Enquiry Service providing guidance and information on protecting your intellectual property.

Gloucestershire Libraries is now a member of PatLib UK which is a growing network of regional patent information centres supported by the Intellectual Property Office. The centre is currently based at Gloucester Library, covering Gloucestershire and beyond.

As a designated PatLib UK centre we provide local access to patent, trade mark, designs and copyright information, to help businesses and individuals understand the different types of legal protection and how to apply to protect their intellectual property (IP) assets.


What we offer

  • An IP enquiry and signposting service via email/telephone. 
  • We can also assist with searching databases for Patents, Trademarks and Designs.
  • Free access to Espacenet, Designview and associated IP databases via Library PC’s. Please note, PC's need to booked in advance. More information can be found here.

If you would like to find out more, please email, call 01452 426977 or complete our Ask Us business enquiry form here. Our office hours are currently Monday to Friday 10am till 4pm.


Coming soon 

Workshops and events that provide information and signpost to local support and resources, whether you are just starting out or are an established business. Please note, we are not able to give legal or specialist advice.

Keep up to date with all our latest news and announcements via our LinkedIn page here and by visiting @gloslibs on Twitter.


Why is Intellectual Property so important for inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses?

Most businesses have some form of intellectual property yet few have protected these valuable intangible assets or understand their financial value. Protecting your business from the outset, allows you to take legal action against anyone who steals or copies your IP, as well as to exploit commercial opportunities such as licensing your goods or services out to third parties.

There are 4 different IP rights including:

  • Patents which protect new inventions. If you want to find out if something similar to your invention already exists and has been patented you can do this by searching  Espacenet which is operated by the EPO (European Patent Office). 
  • Trademarks which protect brands. If you want to find out whether a similar trademark already exists, you must check if anyone has already registered an identical or similar trademark for the same or similar goods or services by searching the trademark database here.
  • Designs which protect the visual appearance of a product. If you want to find out if a similar design already exists, you must check if anyone has already registered an identical or similar design by searching DesignView
  • Copyright which protects literature, artistic works, software, photographs, music, films etc. Copyright is an automatic right in the UK which begins as soon as a work is fixed in tangible form. Therefore, as you get copyright protection automatically there is no official registration system for copyright works in the UK, so you do not need to apply or pay any fees.



Other Business Services from Gloucestershire County Council


  • FREE business information including targeted mailing lists and company reports using our database Fame. We can also access newspaper articles regarding business and industry news via Newsbank and Fame. Fame is a comprehensive business database which contains information on both public and private companies across the UK and Ireland. 


  • Take advantage of the facilities available at our Labs. The Labs are creative community spaces offering accessible digital skill development for all ages and abilities. Small businesses, freelancers and creatives can take advantage of an affordable membership and in return they can access advanced technology, high-cost software, project & digital support from the Lab Tech Team, as well as the support and inspiration that comes with joining a collaborative community. Each of our Labs provide access to 3D modelling, scanning & printing, virtual reality, 360 cameras, micro-computers and a digital design studio to bring you project or idea to life.


  • Access points at each Gloucestershire Library to the Growth Hub website with support and the latest business literature. Selected libraries have co-working spaces and business areas – smaller libraries offer literature and guidance.


  • All libraries offer printing, photocopying, access to library PCs and free Wi-Fi.
  • FREE business magazine available via Libby – the library app for free eBooks and magazines featuring titles such as the Economist and MoneyWeek.


  • Access to FREE self-help information sheets on all aspects of business to consumer law.  Options of a competitively charged 1:1 advice service for complex enquiries and access to additional support through Primary Authority Partnerships here.


Upcoming local events

Watch this space for upcoming local events... 




IP webinars

The IPO has partnered with the Department for International Trade (DIT) on a new four-part series of webinars to help businesses confidently trade internationally.

Sign up to the webinars by creating an account with the DIT Export Academy.

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