For over 200 years, the basic role of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has remained the same: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited time to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries. Under this system of protection, American industry has flourished. New products have been invented, new uses for old ones discovered, and employment opportunities created for millions of Americans. The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs.
The USPTO is at the cutting edge of the Nation’s technological progress and achievement. The USPTO is a federal agency in the Department of Commerce. The USPTO occupies several interconnected buildings in Alexandria, Virginia, as well as four regional offices in Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; and San Jose, California. The office employs more than 10,000 people, all dedicated to protecting U.S. intellectual property rights.