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About the Office of Patent Training

Patent quality is a key to our success at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Office of Patent Training (OPT) is deeply committed to increasing the knowledge, ability and skills of our Patent Employees and to delivering Intellectual Property information and education to our External Stakeholders. Our training programs provide comprehensive training to Patent Employees and enhance external stakeholder awareness of Examination Practice and Procedures.

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Learning opportunities for the public

Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP)

The STEPP program offers those interested, training opportunities to better their understanding of the examination process at the USPTO.  Training material used is derived from material developed for training patent examiners. 

To learn more visit the Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) page.

Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT)

vILT is designed to allow our stakeholders to be briefed on a variety of focused topics related to examination practice and procedure derived from recent training delivered to experienced USPTO examiners. The primary purpose of vILT is to provide a vehicle by which recently delivered examination training is shared with the external stakeholders. The interactive online format of vILT allows participants to remotely attend the training without the need to travel to USPTO locations. 

To learn more visit the Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) page.

Examiner Training Material

OPT aids in the development and delivery of training material for both newly hired and experienced patent examiners.

  • To view publicly available training intended for newly hired patent examiners please visit the Examiner Training Materials page. Note that all content found through the hyperlink above applies to patent applications filed under the America Invents Act of 2011.
  • To view publicly available training material used to train experienced patent examiners please visit the Examination Guidance and Training Materials page.


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Host examiners for a site visit

Site Experience Education (SEE) Program

The SEE program provides commercial, industrial, and academic institutions, within the continental U.S., the opportunity to voluntarily host patent examiner technical site visits.  The USPTO funds all SEE travel costs for patent examiner visits to host organizations. 

To learn more, visit the Site Experience Education (SEE) Program page.


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Provide technical expertise to examiners

The Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP)

PETTP offers technologists, scientists, engineers, and other experts from industry and academia an opportunity to voluntarily provide technical training and expertise to patent examiners in-person or virtually from their own location. 

In-person presentations can be made at our Alexandria, Virginia headquarters or at one of our satellite offices in Detroit, Michigan and Denver, Colorado. 

To learn more, visit the Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) page.

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Patents events

Interested in taking part in additional Patent lead training and other public events?  Please visit the Patents Events page to learn more.

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Contact us

For inquiries or general comments about patent training, email

For inquiries pertaining to STEPP, SEE, or PETTP, please refer to their program pages.

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