The USPTO: Who We Are
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch "promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries." The USPTO registers trademarks based on the commerce clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). 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 advises the president of the United States, the secretary of commerce, and U.S. government agencies on intellectual property (IP) policy, protection, and enforcement; and promotes the stronger and more effective IP protection around the world. The USPTO furthers effective IP protection for U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide by working with other agencies to secure strong IP provisions in free trade and other international agreements. It also provides training, education, and capacity building programs designed to foster respect for IP and encourage the development of strong IP enforcement regimes by U.S. trading partners.
The USPTO Main Campus
The USPTO headquarters occupies five interconnected buildings located at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. The office employs more than 10,000 people -- including engineers, scientists, attorneys, analysts, computer specialists -- all dedicated to protecting U.S. intellectual property rights.
National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum located on the USPTO Alexandria, Virginia campus, is open to the public. Established in 1995, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum strives to educate the public about the patent and trademark systems, and the important role intellectual property protection plays in our nation's social and economic health. The museum is closed for renovation until May 2014. The museum store will remain open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The store will be closed on Sundays, Mondays, and federal holidays.