US Patent and Trademark Office

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Type: Public
Industry: Intellectual Property registration
Headquarters: 600 Dulany St,
Alexandria, Virginia
Country: USA
Facebook: USPTO
LinkedIn: USPTO
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@uspto
Key People
David Kappos, Director
Teresa Stanek Rea, Deputy Director

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency that grants US patents and trademarks. The USPTO works in accordance with US Consitution mandate Article I, section 8, clause 8, which states that the Executive Branch shall "promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries."[1]


The USPTO plays the important function of advising the U.S. Government, the President of the United States, and the Secretary of Commerce on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) policy. It also works towards promoting stronger and more effective IP protection around the world. The USPTO works in coordination with U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs by working with agencies all around the world to ensure that they have a strong IP provision in terms of free trade and international agreements. Another major function of USPTO is to provide the necessary education, training, and programs to increase respect for IP and foster the development of strong IP enforcement regimes for U.S. trading partners.[2]

As far as its duties related to granting patents is concerned, USPTO evaluates the application and grants patents for an invention whenever the applicants are entitled to them under the law. The USPTO then publishes, records, and spreads the patent information. It also maintains a search file for the sake of public use in examining issued records and patents. It also provides the official records and copies of patents to the public.

The USPTO also helps in the advancement of the United States by encouraging the technical as well as scientific advancement of the country.[3]


The head of the USPTO is known by two names, the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.

The staff of the Director are the Deputy Director of the USPTO, the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce, the Commissioner for Trademarks, the Commissioner for Patents, and other officials.

The Director, as the head of the USPTO, performs all duties related to the granting and issuing of patents and the registration of trademarks. The Director also deals with the various petitions put before the Office, and prescribes the rules that need to be approved by the Secretary of Commerce for the recognition of agents or attorneys, for the conduct of the proceedings in the USPTO. The Director also supervises the work of the USPTO, and performs the duties that are necessary for the sake of the administration of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.[4]