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USPTO Organization

The various offices within the United States Patent and Trademark Office serve specific functions, both to the general public and the organization itself. The links below provide additional information about the functions of each of the offices.

Office of the Under Secretary and Director

The Office of the Under Secretary and Director (OUS)—under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce—is the principal advisor to the President, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Administration on all intellectual property matters. The OUS oversees all offices within the USPTO, ensuring the agency achieves strategic and management goals, including quality, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, and transparency. 

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Office of the Commissioner for Patents

The Patent Office of the USPTO examines applications and grants patents on inventions when applicants are entitled to them; it publishes and disseminates patent information, records assignments of patents, maintains search files of U.S. and foreign patents and maintains a search room for public use in examining issued patents and records.

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Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks

The Trademark Office reviews trademark applications for federal registration and determines whether an applicant meets the requirements for federal registration. We do not decide whether you have the right to use a mark (which differs from the right to register). Even without a registration, you may still use any mark adopted to identify the source of your goods and/or services. Once a registration issues, it is up to the owner of a mark to enforce its rights in the mark based on ownership of a federal registration.

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Office of Policy and International Affairs

The Office of Policy and International Affairs is authorized by the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) to provide guidance, conduct programs and studies, and otherwise interact with international IP offices and international intergovernmental organizations on matters involving the protection of intellectual property. Our established Office of External Affairs carries out the functions authorized by the AIPA.

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Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is concerned with defense of agency decisions in court and administrative tribunals, internal agency legal advice, and regulation of persons practicing before the USPTO. The OGC consists of three organizations, which are the Office of the Solicitor (SO), the Office of General Law (OGL), and the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). The OGC also manages the USPTO's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program.

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Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity

The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity provides leadership, direction, and guidance in carrying out its equal opportunity and civil rights responsibilities. The USPTO promotes equal opportunity by a continuing affirmative program that identifies and eliminates discriminatory practices and policies. Its mission includes:

  • ensuring equal employment opportunity and affirmative employment for its employees and job applicants; and
  • ensuring equal opportunity and accessibility for users of programs and services operated or funded by the USPTO.

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Office of the Chief Communications Officer

The Office of Chief Communications Officer (CCO) manages the public affairs function and coordinates a wide variety of internal and external communications.

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Office of the Chief Financial Officer

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) supports the mission of the USPTO by ensuring that customer fee payments are promptly, accurately, and efficiently recorded and deposited ensuring that Federal employees, contractors, and vendors necessary to protect intellectual property rights are paid promptly, accurately, courteously, and in accordance with the law providing audited financial statements and other financial management reports to the public, the Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretary of Commerce, and USPTO management staff.

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Office of the Chief Information Officer

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office on the architectural design and acquisition of supporting automated information systems and the underlying information technology infrastructure.

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Office of the Chief Administrative Officer

The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) consists primarily of two organizations: the Office of Administrative Services and the Office of Human Resources.

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United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 10/1/2013 3:33:32 PM