U.S. Patent Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in particular the Patent Office, is one of the most well-respected patent examining agencies in the world.  The Patent Office is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is charged to grant patents for the protection of inventions. It serves the interests of inventors with respect to their inventions. It also advises and assists the President of the United States, the Secretary of Commerce, the bureaus and offices of the Department of Commerce, and other agencies of the government in matters involving all domestic and global aspects of “intellectual property.” Through the preservation, classification, and dissemination of patent information, the Office promotes the industrial and technological progress of the nation and strengthens the economy.

In discharging its patent related duties, the USPTO examines applications and grants patents on inventions when applicants are entitled to them.  The Patent Office publishes and disseminates patent information, records assignments of patents, maintains search files of U.S. and foreign patents, and maintains a search room for public use in examining issued patents and records. The Patent Office supplies copies of patents and official records to the public. It provides training to practitioners as to requirements of the patent statutes and regulations, and it publishes the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure to elucidate these. Similar functions are performed relating to trademarks. By protecting intellectual endeavors and encouraging technological progress, the USPTO seeks to preserve the United States’ technological edge, which is key to our current and future competitiveness. The USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.

Patent Examiners are Responsible for:
  • Searching for previous prior that could affect novelty or obviousness of an invention embodied in a patent application
  • Examining patent applications for novelty, obviousness, and other substantive and technical issues
  • Publishing patent applications together with search results
  • Preparing search reports and sending to inventors, patent agents, or patent attorneys prosecuting an application
  • Following patent application appeals through their conclusion
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