New employee information and forms

This webpage links to current USPTO forms that comply with Section 508. While expiration dates on the forms are required, they do not indicate a date beyond which the forms are invalid. 

To view and use the forms you must install Adobe Acrobat reader on your computer. Acrobat 5.0 (minimum) is required to access and complete all fillable forms.

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Restrictions on employee interests in pending patent applications:

USPTO employees are subject to restrictions on applying for patents and owning any interest in a pending patent application.

Section 4 of 35 U.S.C. states: Officers and employees of the Patent and Trademark Office shall be incapable, during the period of their appointments and for one year thereafter, of applying for a patent and of acquiring, directly or indirectly, except by inheritance or bequest, any patent or any right or interest in any patent, issued or to be issued by the Office. In patents applied for thereafter they shall not be entitled to any priority date earlier than one year after the termination of their appointment.

Therefore, while employed by the USPTO and for one year thereafter, you cannot apply for a patent before the USPTO or own an interest in a patent application pending before the USPTO. If you have any such interest, to comply with Section 4 you would need to assign that interest to a third party or abandon the application prior to employment with the USPTO. The Agency cannot provide legal guidance as to how to assign this interest, and recommends consulting with an attorney if necessary.

Please note that Section 4 does not restrict USPTO employees from owning an interest in a patent issued prior to becoming a USPTO employee.

You may remain listed as an inventor on a patent application, though you may not review the patent for which you are listed as an inventor. However, an employee of the USPTO who is an inventor is not permitted to sign an oath or declaration for a patent application during his or her period of employment with the USPTO and for one year after leaving.