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Encyclopedia > United States Patent and Trademark Office
PTO headquarters in Alexandria
PTO headquarters in Alexandria

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. The PTO is currently based in Alexandria, Virginia, after a recent move from the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia. Since 1991, the office has been fully funded by fees charged for processing patents and trademarks. The current head of the USPTO is Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon W. Dudas, a position to which he was nominated by President George W. Bush in March 2004 and appointed July 30, 2004. USPTO seal. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1469x1119, 592 KB) The south side of the James Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1469x1119, 592 KB) The south side of the James Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia. ... The United States Department of Commerce is a Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. ... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which... A trademark, trade mark, â„¢ or ®[1] is a distinctive sign of some kind which is used by an organization to uniquely identify itself and its products and services to consumers, and to distinguish the organization and its products or services from those of other organizations. ... An inventor is a person who creates new inventions, typically technical devices such as mechanical, electrical or software devices or methods. ... Location in Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia Founded 1718 Mayor William D. Euille Area    - City 39. ... Satellite image of the interlocking highrises of Crystal City. ... Arlington County is an urban county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the U.S., directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Originally part of the District of Columbia, the land now comprising the county was retroceded to Virginia in a July 9, 1846 act of Congress... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Under Secretary Jon W. Dudas The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, within the United States Department of Commerce, is the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


The USPTO cooperates with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) pursuant trilateral agreements. 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. The European Patent Organisation (EPO or EPOrg in order to distinguish it from the European Patent Office, which is the main organ of the organisation) is a public international organisation set up by the European Patent Convention. ... Japan Patent Office (JPO) is a Japanese governmental agency that takes charge of industrial property right affairs, under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. ... The so-called Trilateral Offices, or Trilateral Patent Offices, are a group of patent offices consisting of the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). ... The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions internationally. ...

Contents

Mission

The mission of the PTO is to promote "industrial and technological progress in the United States and strengthen the national economy" by:

The office of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the mid-20th century. ... The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... Copyright symbol Copyright is a set of exclusive rights regulating the use of a particular expression of an idea or information. ... In law, intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term for various legal entitlements which attach to certain types of information, ideas, or other intangibles in their expressed form. ...

Structure

The PTO has about 7,300 employees, nearly all of whom are based at its huge five-building headquarters complex in Alexandria. Of those, about 3,000 are patent examiners and 400 are trademark examiners; the rest are support staff. Patent examiners are generally scientists and engineers who do not necessarily hold law degrees, while all trademark examiners must be licensed attorneys. All examiners work under a strict quota system. A patent clerk or patent examiner is an employee, usually a civil servant, working within a patent office and whose work is to examine patent applications as to whether they deserve a patent. ... A trademark examiner is an attorney employed by a government entity such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office to determine whether an applicant should be permitted to receive a trademark registration, thus affording legal protection to the applicants trademark. ...


Fee diversion

Each year, Congress "diverts" about 10% of the fees that the USPTO has collected into the general treasury of the United States. In effect, this takes monies collected from the patent system to use for the general budget. This fee diversion is generally opposed by patent practitioners (e.g patent attorneys and patent agents), inventors, and the USPTO.[1] These stakeholders would rather use the funds to improve the patent office and patent system, such as by implementing the USPTO's 21st Century Strategic Plan.[2] Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate Dick Cheney, R, since January 20, 2001 Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R, since January 6, 1999 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups (as of January 4, 2005 elections) Democratic Party Republican Party... A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ... A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ... An inventor is a person who creates new inventions, typically technical devices such as mechanical, electrical or software devices or methods. ...


Patents

First US patent
First US patent
  • Each year, the PTO issues thousands of patents to companies and individuals all around the world. As of March 2006, the PTO has issued over seven million patents.
  • The X-Patents (the first 10,000 issued between 1790 and 1836) were destroyed by a fire; less than 3,000 of those have been recovered and re-issued with numbers ending in "X" to distinguish them from those issued after the fire.

Image File history File links FirstUSpatent. ... Image File history File links FirstUSpatent. ... The following is a list of the top ten recipients of patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the year indicated: // 2004 3248 patents to IBM, headquartered in Armonk, New York 1934 patents to Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. ... March 2006 : ← - January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → Fijian Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase announces that the 2006 Fiji general elections will be held in the second week of May 2006 from the 6th to the 13th. ... X-Patent number 72, Eli Whitneys cotton gin The X-Patents are all the patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office from July 1790 (when the first U.S. patent was issued), to July 1836. ... 1790 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... October 2, Charles Darwin returns from his voyage around the world. ... 1790 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which... Samuel Hopkins ( December 9, 1743 – 1818 ) was an American inventor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... Potash Potash (or carbonate of potash) is an impure form of potassium carbonate (K2CO3) mixed with other potassium salts. ... Carbonate of potash redirects here. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732–December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and was later elected the first President of the United States. ...

Representation

Patent attorney, agent registration

The PTO only allows certain qualified persons to practice before the PTO. Practice includes filing of patent applications on behalf of inventors, prosecuting patent applications on behalf of inventors, and participating in administrative appeals and other proceedings before the PTO examiners and boards. The PTO sets its own standards for who may practice and requires that any person who practices become registered. An USPTO-registered non-attorney professional is called a patent agent and an USPTO-registered attorney is called a patent attorney. A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ... A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ...


In order to become registered to practice before the USPTO, an applicant must demonstrate to the USPTO's satisfaction certain scientific and technical competencies and then pass a difficult USPTO-administered patent bar exam called the USPTO registration examination. This bar exam covers the voluminous regulations and procedures that govern USPTO practice. The registration process is managed by the USPTO's Office of Enrollment & Discipline (OED).[3] A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ...


Filing a patent yourself

An individual inventor may file and prosecute a patent application by themselves. This is called filing a patent pro se. The inventor does not need to be represented by a registered patent attorney or patent agent. If it appears to a patent examiner, however, that an inventor filing a pro se application is not familiar with the proper procedures of the patent office, then the examiner may suggest that it is desirable for the inventor to obtain representation by a licensed patent attorney or agent (see Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, Chapter 400). Pro se is a Latin adjective meaning for self, that is applied to someone who represents himself (or herself) without a lawyer in a court proceeding, whether as a defendant or a plaintiff and whether the matter is civil or criminal. ... A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ... A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ... The Manual for Patent Examining Proceedure (MPEP) is a manual for patent agents and patent examiners published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). ...


The patent examiner cannot recommend a patent attorney or agent, but the patent office does post a list of registered attorneys or agents.


It is not uncommon for individual inventors to file their own patents to potentially save thousands of dollars in agent/attorneys fees, since legal fees for the preparation and filing of a US patent application can run more than US$20,000.


There are many self-help books in publication explaining how to file your own patent, such as Patent it Yourself. The US patent office also has a free help line called the "Inventors Assistance Center" where retired patent examiners will provide advice to members of the public on how to follow the procedures and rules of the patent office. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which...


Electronic Filing System

The USPTO will accept patent applications filed in electronic form. As of March 2006, inventors or their patent agents/attorneys can file applications as pdf documents. The web page for submitting applications is https://sportal.uspto.gov/secure/portal/efs-unregistered. Filing fees can be paid by credit card or by a USPTO “deposit account”. PDF is an abbreviation with several meanings: Portable Document Format Post-doctoral fellowship Probability density function There also is an electronic design automation company named PDF Solutions. ...


Criticisms

Controversial patents

In November 2005, the USPTO was criticized by physicists for granting U.S. Patent 6,960,975  for an anti-gravity device. The journal Nature first highlighted this patent issued for a device that presumably amounts to a perpetual motion machine, defying the laws of physics.[4][5][6][7] The device comprises a particular electrically superconducting shield and elecromagnetic generating device. The examiner allowed the claims because the design of the shield and device was novel and not obvious.[8] In situations such as this where a substantial question of patentability is raised after a patent issues, the Commissioner of the Patent Office can order a reexamination of the patent. Ongoing events • Abramoff-Reed gambling scandal • Al Jazeera bombing memo • Avian influenza (H5N1) outbreak • Black sites scandal • Conservative leadership race (UK) • Fuel prices • Irans nuclear program • Jilin chemical plant explosions • Kashmir earthquake • Malawi food crisis • Malaysian prisoner abuse scandal • New Delhi bombings investigation • Niger food crisis • North Indian cyclone... Anti-gravity is a recurring theme in science fiction, particularly in the context spacecraft propulsion. ... First title page, November 4, 1869 Nature is one of the oldest and most reputable scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. ... This article or section should include material from Parallel Path See also Perpetuum mobile as a musical term Perpetual motion machines (the Latin term perpetuum mobile is not uncommon) are a class of hypothetical machines which would produce useful energy in a way science cannot explain (yet). ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor (with boiling liquid nitrogen underneath), demonstrating the Meissner effect. ... Within the context of a national or multilateral body of law, an invention is patentable or, in other words, it satisfies the patentability requirements if it meets the legal conditions to be granted a patent. ... In United States patent law, a reexamination is a process whereby a third party or inventor can have their patent application reexamined by a patent examiner to verify that it is valid. ...


Slow patent examination

The US patent office has been criticized for taking an inordinate amount of time in examining patent applications. This is particularly true in the fast growing area of business method patents. As of 2005, patent examiners in the business method area were still examining patent applications filed in 2001. Business method patents are a class of patents and one of many legal aspects of business. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...


The delay has been attributed by spokesmen for the Patent Office to a combination of a sudden increase in business method patent filings after the 1998 State Street Bank decision, the unfamiliarity of patent examiners with the business and financial arts (e.g. banking, insurance, stock trading etc.), and the issuance of a number of controversial patents (e.g. U.S. Patent 5,960,411  "Amazon one click patent") in the business method area. The decision of July 23, 1998 of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in State Street Bank & Trust Company v. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


The Patent Office has recently begun (as of 2005) an aggressive hiring campaign for increasing the number of examiners in the business method area to help address the problem of undue delay in examination. One hundred twenty-nine examiners were hired in July 2006 alone.[9]


See also

The United States patent law is a first-to-invent patent legal framework in contrast to all other national patent laws. ... The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) is a body of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which decides issues of patentability. ... The Confederate Patent Office was the agency of the Confederate States of America charged with issuing patents on inventions. ... Ex parte Quayle, 25 USPQ 74, 1935 C.D. 11; 453 O.G. 213 (Commr Pat. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... John Ruggles (October 8, 1789—June 20, 1874) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Maine. ... The Old Patent Office Building undergoing renovation The Patent Office Building in the 19th Century The historic Old Patent Office Building in Washington, D.C. covers an entire city block defined by F and G Streets and 7th and 9th Streets NW in Chinatown. ... A patent office is a governmental or intergovernmental organisation which controls the issue of patents. ... The Patent Office Professional Association (POPA) is a professional union of United States patent examiners. ... The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (or TTAB) is a body within the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) responsible for hearing and deciding oppositions filed against trademark applications. ... The so-called Trilateral Offices, or Trilateral Patent Offices, are a group of patent offices consisting of the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). ...

External links

  • USPTO
    • Main page
    • Searches
    • Office of Enrollment & Discipline (OED)
    • Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program
    • Stopfakes.gov Small Business Resources

References

Notes

  1. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office (February 2, 2004). President's proposed budget ends USPTO fee diversion in FY 2005. Press release. Retrieved on 2006-11-24.
  2. ^ Strategic Plan for the 21st Century. United States Patent and Trademark Office (February 24, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-24.
  3. ^ OED Mission. United States Patent and Trademark Office (June 21, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-24. Note: the original link location appears to no longer be available.
  4. ^ Ball, Philip (November 10, 2005). "Antigravity craft slips past patent officers". Nature 438 (7065): 139. PMID 16280998.
  5. ^ United Press International. "Patent issued for anti-gravity device", Phyorg.com, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-11-24.
  6. ^ Brian Handwerk. "Antigravity Machine Patent Draws Physicists' Ire", National Geographic News, November 11, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-11-24.
  7. ^ An untraceable link was also included here as an additional reference.
  8. ^ Ramon M Barrera (examiner) (June 7, 2005). Notice of Allowance and Fees Due (PTOL-85) (PDF). 11/079,670 Space Vehicle Propelled by the Pressure of Inflationary Vacuum State 2. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2006-11-24. Note: Navigate to the 'Image File Wrapper' to find the file; download and open with a PDF reader. The specific passage from the document follows: "The following is an examiner's statement of reasons for allowance: None of the prior art of record taught or disclosed the claimed superconducting shield and electromagnetic field generating means structure."
  9. ^ Jon W. Dudas (November 2, 2005). Message from the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of USPTO. Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2005. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2006-11-24.

  Results from FactBites:
 
United States Patent and Trademark Office - definition of United States Patent and Trademark Office in Encyclopedia (265 words)
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification.
The mission of the PTO is to promote "industrial and technological progress in the United States and strengthen the national economy" by:
Patent Office Pony (http://www.myoutbox.net/popstart.htm) (ISBN 1887901132), a history of the early years of the PTO
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/United States Patent and Trademark Office (356 words)
This fee diversion is controversial to patent practitioners, who would rather use the funds to improve the patent office and patent system.
However, as the commissioner of the USPTO is a politicial appointee, the diversion of fees is always internally supported from within.
Patent Office Pony (ISBN 1887901132), a history of the early years of the PTO
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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