Skip over navigation

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 useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and 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.

Back to top

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 open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays, Mondays, and federal holidays.

Back to top

Tours of USPTO

School and group tours are welcome at the museum. Tours of USPTO are offered Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact or the Office of the Chief Communications Officer at 571-272-8400 at least two weeks ahead of time to schedule a tour.

Back to top


To foster innovation and competitiveness by:

Providing high quality and timely examination of patent and trademark applications, guiding domestic and international intellectual property policy, and delivering intellectual property information and education worldwide.


USPTO: Leading the World in Intellectual Property Protection and Policy

United States Patent and Trademark Office
This page is owned by Office of the Chief Communications Officer.
Last Modified: 11/3/2014 5:29:35 PM