The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a U.S. Department of Commerce agency. The USPTO headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.
The USPTO issues patents and trademarks. Inventors and businesses file patent applications to protect their inventions and trademark applications to identify their products and services in the United States.
The USPTO is credited by many to be the engine behind the American economy. It provides protection to entrepreneurs and investors for their innovation and creativity. Over 150,000 patents are issued by the USPTO every year.
The USPTO accepts patent applications electronically as well as payments online. In the USPTO website one can conduct patent and trademark searches and the site also provides analysis tools.
The USPTO is also a Receiving Office, an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examination Authority for international patent applications filed in accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
It is possible to request the USPTO to accelerate an examination of a patent and obtain a final decision within twelve months of filing. This procedure requires submitting additional information with the patent application and conduct an interview with the examiner.