The US patents and trademarks office is a federal agency established by Congress to register trademarks and grant patents to inventors, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Evolution of the Patents and Trademarks Office

The essential elements of today's patenting structure received cataloged laws in the late 18th century. The patents office became an independent entity under the rules. From then, the office continued to grow and duties expanded. 

Much of the expansion can be accredited to Thomas Jefferson's direction, who served as Secretary of State for a time. The Department of State remained the overseer of the patent office until authority shifted in 1849, to the Department of Interior. By 1870, the government had granted the Patent Commissioner the extended power to start regulating and registering trademarks, in addition to patents.

Demand Pushed the Patents and Trademarks Office To Grow Rapidly

Although the patent office received more authority from the expansion to include the registration of marks, it was not until the 1900s that the word "trademark" had an official attachment to the name of the bureau. The office eventually ended up under the roof of the Department of Commerce. It is there that the Patent Office has remained since 1925. The agency then received another name change to "Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)."

The change properly denoted the dual functions of the office. It was not until the new millennium, however, that the office had its final name change to how it is referenced now —the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

What Laws Support the U.S. Patent System?

Below are the present laws governing the USPTO programs:

  • 15 U.S.C. 1051—1127: This rule maintains the trademark administration of the office.
  • 15 U.S.C. 1511: With this regulation, the USPTO has its establishment as a subordinate entity of the Department of Commerce.
  • 35 U.S.C.: This law appoints the office with all its primary charge over patent law administration.
  • 44 U.S.C. 1337—1338: The power of this law grants authority to the of USPTO to print patents, trademarks, and other business-related material.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office was released from its longstanding federal funding in 1991. This turned the bureau into a self-supporting government agency. Without federal funding, it became necessary for Congress to increase the fees for applications. With the raised rates, the office had money to continue operation and provide inventors with relevant services. In 1999, it became official that the USPTO was a direct organization under the Department of Commerce.

Protecting Innovation, Ideas, and Inventions Fortifies U.S. Economy

The ways in which investments for creativity gets protection directly affect the nation's economic health. With trademarks and patents in such high demand, ingenuity compels entrepreneurs and inventors to do more. At the height of the country's technological progression, the USPTO fosters the nation's advancements past the limitations brought about by outdated innovations. The encouragement and incentive given to inventors and investors from the office make way for more cutting-edge creations.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office considers its patent granting as a service that protects brands. With entitlement to protected rights, it is easier for businesses to discover and secure elevated places in their industry, which feeds the economy.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Serves and Protects

The USPTO promotes scientific progress and advancement of the useful arts giving rights for new designs, devices, and processes. Obtaining ownership of an invention requires an inventor to submit an application to the USPTO for approval. The way the patent system is set up, the office has many duties. It does all but not limited to the following tasks:

  • Advise the White House on policies regarding copyright, trademarks, and patents.
  • Examine applications.
  • Publish patents that have been already issued within 18 months.
  • Grant entitled applications with rights.
  • Develop the policy for intellectual property.
  • Keep up the utility and accessibility of a search room, so the public to look through records.
  • Record patent assignments.
  • Distribute copies of records.

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