About United States Patent and Trademark Office

The invention of anything requires an idea and a lot of hard work on that idea. The new machine, the process is a love child for the inventor. The real struggle comes to get it patented to protect the misuse of the same by others. The United States Patent and Trademark Office works on safeguarding the interest of businesses and inventors with respect to their corporate products and inventions and identification of those. The office protects the right of the inventor by granting the patent and registering a trademark for the same. Let us understand briefly patent and trademark.

What is a Patent?

In simple words, the patent is the right of the inventor on his own invention. This right is provided by the USPTO on the application for 20 years from the date in which the application is filed. The patent granted is valid only within the territories of united states.

What is a trademark?

A symbol, name, or mark used for identification of the goods in the trade is termed as a trademark. This right protects the owner from the misuse of such mark by others.

So now when we understand what patent and trademark are let us understand the USPTO better. What are its functions and how it disburses it functions? Here we will have an easy to understand explanation.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Establishment and naming:

The office was established by the Congress in the year 1802 to work on behalf of the Government. It was reorganized in the year 1836 with the enactment of new patent laws. The Patent Office was designated with the Commissioner of Patents. It was renamed as The United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2000, prior to which in the year of 1975 it was named as Patent and Trademark Office.

Key Role:

The key function of the United States Patent and Trademark Office is to administer the patent law and granting a patent to the inventors after an application is filed on behalf of them. A strict examination of the inventor’s applications is done by the office before granting a patent to comply with the requirements of a patent. Within a time span of 18 months from the date of filing of the application, the patent is granted.  A list of patents granted and various other information concerning patents are issued by the office. The procedure is the same for registration of the trademark. The public is also given the required importance for which the office maintains all record and those are made accessible to the public. Copies of records are also provided on demand by the office to the public.

 Constitution of office:

The head of USPTO is the Director of United States Patent and Trademark Office, who is the highest authority overviews the working of the office as a whole. The joint head of the office with the Director is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.  The director performs all the duties of issuing of patents and registration of trademarks. The Director can also issue rules for the office with due approval from the Under Secretary. The other staffs of the director’s office are Deputy Director, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, the Commissioner for Patents and the Commissioner for Trademarks. As of today the USPTO approximately has 11,000 employees including the examiners and others.

Examination of application:

The applications filed with the office by the inventors are typically examined before granting of patent or registration of a trademark. The examination is done by various examining technology centers. Each center having its specialization on a specific technology. The aim of the examination is to see all the grounds of qualification are fulfilled for the grant of patent and trademark. The applicants whose applications are not qualified, to be more precise are not granted patent or trademark whatever the case may be, can appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The decision will be reviewed by the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in such incidences.

The basic requirement for patenting:

the statute makes it very clear that an idea or a suggestion cannot be patented. According to the statute, a person is entitled to get a patent who invents or discovers any machine or process. It also states that the invention should be useful. As per the statute, the patent is also available for the process involved in the invention. The law enables patenting of almost everything invented by the people and the process involved in such invention.

Hope this will help you get the idea of patenting and the procedure of patenting performed by the office.

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