Patent and Trademark Office

Learn more about the Patent and Trademark Office and how it promotes investment through the IIWG

Logo of the Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. Patents and trademarks promote innovation and strengthen the U.S. economy. In addition, the USPTO advises and assists government agencies and officials in matters involving all domestic and global aspects of intellectual property. USPTO also promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection.

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Mission: To ensure that the Intellectual Property system contributes to a strong global economy, encourages investment in innovation, and fosters entrepreneurial spirit.

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USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA

The patent laws of the United States make no discrimination with respect to the citizenship of the inventor. Any inventor, regardless of his or her citizenship, may apply for a patent on the same basis as a U.S. citizen.

Patent and Trademark Resource Centers
The Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) is a nationwide network of libraries trained to provide free informational assistance in all areas of intellectual property. These centers include access to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) site and other intellectual property websites, PubWest (a USPTO examiner-based search system), computer-based training, and public programs and instructional classes on searching patents and trademarks. 

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A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patents exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.

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A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. Trademarks that are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the USPTO.

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