Legal assistance and resources

Find resources and programs for inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses seeking assistance with legal matters, including application filing, locating a registered patent or trademark practitioner, and avoiding scams.

 

Upcoming events

Feb 3, 2022

Unfamiliar with patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) experts about intellectual property (IP) basics and potential ways to protect your innovation as you transition from idea to product. The...

Feb 3, 2022

Understanding patent application drafting is a vital step in protecting your invention. Attend this virtual workshop and learn from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) experts about the formalities and requirements of drafting a patent application, as well as how to avoid common...

Feb 17, 2022

​Are you an inventor considering prosecuting a patent application? Join us for Part V of our Path to a Patent series. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) experts will discuss the parts of the claim, show examples of claim illustrations from issued U.S. patents, and help participants...

Mar 3, 2022

​Did you know that patents offer territorial rights, meaning that there is no such thing as an international or global patent? Learn how to help protect your intellectual property (IP) in foreign jurisdictions. United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) International Patent Legal...

Mar 17, 2022

Are you an inventor? Join us for this session full of important tips on filing a patent application and what to do after you file for a patent. Learn about common mistakes to avoid and gain a better understanding of post-filing procedures and support. Register now for this free virtual event...

News & Updates

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo to Chair Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2)

WASHINGTON — In a letter to Council members this week, United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced her new role as Chair of the re-branded Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2). With representatives from industry, academia, non-profit, and government, CI2 will assist the United...

Henry “Jamie” Holcombe appointed chief information officer

WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the appointment of Henry “Jamie” Holcombe as the agency’s Chief Information Officer. Holcombe’s first full day in his new role will be Monday, February 25, 2019. Holcombe joins the USPTO after more than 20 years of...

United States moves up in international rankings for patent protection

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) ranked the United States in second place for Patents, Related Rights, and Limitations in its 2019 International IP Index, reflecting a significant improvement in patent protection policy. In addition, this year...

U.S. ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty

WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) welcomed the recent ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, which allows limited copyright exceptions for the reproduction of published works in formats accessible to the blind and visually impaired. President Donald J. Trump signed...

Nominations sought for National Medal of Technology and Innovation

WASHINGTON - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the 2019 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is the country's highest award for technological achievement and is presented by the president of the United States. The medal is awarded to...

Thomas Krause appointed Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Solicitor

WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the appointment of Thomas W. Krause as the new Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor of the USPTO. Krause, who has served as the agency’s Deputy Solicitor since 2014, begins his new role...

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announces revised guidance for determining subject matter eligibility

WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced revised guidance for subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The USPTO also announced guidance on the application of 35 U.S.C. § 112 to computer-implemented inventions. The documents take effect Monday...

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office releases 2018-2022 Strategic Plan

WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The strategic plan sets out the USPTO’s mission-focused strategic goals: to optimize patent quality and timeliness; to optimize trademark quality and timeliness; and, to provide domestic...

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announces Laura Peter as deputy director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced the appointment of Laura A. Peter as deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), effective November 13, 2018. Ms. Peter most recently held the...

USPTO Seeking Public Comments on Draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan

WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced it is seeking comments on the draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The draft plan sets out the USPTO's mission-focused strategic goals: to optimize patent quality and timeliness; to optimize trademark quality and...