The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)is the federal agency that grants patents and trademarks. The USPTO reviews all IP applications for federal registration and determines whether the application deems fit for registration.
Also, a patent grant protects the invention of the applicant while a trademark protects designs and expressions to identify a brand/product. Hence, it helps to fulfill a specific constitutional mandate which promotes the growth of science and arts. In addition, the USPTO serves to advise federal agencies on matters that relate to intellectual property protections.
The Essentials of USPTO:
The USPTO examines applications and grants patents on inventions to the patent applicants after they meet the requirements. After that, it publishes and disseminates patent information, records assignments of patents, maintains search files of U.S. and foreign patents. Also, it maintains a search room for public use in examining issued patents and records.
- The USPTO structure mainly comprises a Commissioner of Patents and a Commissioner for Trademarks under the Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.
- The Commissioner for Patents oversees three main bodies. They are the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations,the Deputy Commissioner for patent examination policy, and the Commissioner for Patent Resources and Planning. The Patent Operations of the office also divided into nine different technology centers that deal with various arts.
- One can appeal the decisions of patent examiners to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, an administrative law body of the USPTO. Also, one can further appeal the decisions of the BPAI to the United States Court of Appeals for the federal circuit. The United States Supreme Court may ultimately decide on a patent case. Under the America Invents Act, there was a conversion of BPAI to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or “PTAB”.
- Similarly, one can appeal the decisions of the trademark examiner to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, with subsequent appeals directed to the federal circuit.
- The role of the USPTO is to grant patents for the protection of inventions and to register trademarks. Hence, it serves the interests of inventors and businesses with respect to their inventions and corporate products and service identifications.
- It also advises and assists the Secretary of Commerce, the bureaus and offices of the Department of Commerce in aspects of intellectual property. Also, the Office assists other agencies of the government in matters involving all domestic and global aspects of “intellectual property.”
- Through the preservation and classification of patent information, the Office promotes the industrial and technological progress of the nation and strengthens the economy.
- By protecting intellectual endeavors, it seeks to preserve the United States’ technological edge, which is crucial to the current and future global competitiveness. Hence, the USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection.
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The United States Patent and Trademark Office has headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia and four regional offices.
The regional offices give inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses the benefit of a USPTO presence in every U.S. time zone. So, staff in these offices work closely with intellectual property services, start-ups and job-growth accelerators in their regions. They collaborate with local science, technology, and mathematics organizations.
America Invents Act of 2011 grants office the ability to establish at least three regional offices. The first of the new offices, the Elijah J. McCoy office in Detroit had commencement in 2012. Also, the commencement of the Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver was in 2014. After that, the Silicon Valley office opened in San Jose in October 2015 and serves the West Coast region. Lastly, the spread out of Texas Regional Office was in Dallas in November 2015 and serves the region across the southwestern U.S.
Benefits of Patent Filing with the USPTO:
- The patent applicants increase the profit of their product to reap the benefits of a patent.A patent allows aninventor to sell his unique product at a higher price. If the demand for the product is high, the inventor gets the benefit of the patent. As no one else can sell a similar product, the profit generation of the product peaks. If someone else was able to introduce their own version of the patented product, prices would drop.
- When a patent gets a grant, the disclosure of the invention in the public domain takes place. So, by disclosing the invention in public, it will demonstrate the inventor’s good command and his technical subject background. This will attract leading and high-end business partners.
- The patent not only helps the inventor but also society as a whole. The patent system encourages inventors to innovate by granting a patent for their invention. So, the inventor gets a patent grant for a limited period of time in exchange for others to use the invention.
Benefits of Trademark Registration with the USPTO:
- A trademark becomes a mark of identification for a specific brand, company, etc. so that one can easily identify it in a broad market. Hence, it becomes easy for the customers to easily distinguish the brands and get what they want.
- It uplifts the image of the product in the market. This is one of the most significant trademark benefits. Moreover, if the trademark gets initial success, it becomes easy for the owner to generate funds from different sources. This challenges other brands to provide better quality to the consumer which is essential for the market growth.
- Trademark registration provides the protection to the owner’s trademark to use the mark anywhere on their product. Moreover, the trademark owner gets legal rights to sue someone if anyone is found using his mark for their benefit. Protecting the mark becomes important as it saves the reputation as well as the trust in the brand Quality of the product.
Also read: What is Comprehensive Trademark Search?
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