Terms of Use for USPTO websites


These Terms of Use apply to United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) websites, applications, software, and services (collectively, “Services”) that are intended for public use on the uspto.gov domain, and to USPTO-branded mobile applications and social media presences, except where superseded or modified by a separate agreement. Any separate service agreements will accompany the applicable Services or be clearly noted.  


USPTO may revise and update these Terms of Use as necessary to clarify or improve Services.

Linking policy

Links from USPTO to other websites

The USPTO provides limited external links as a service to our visitors. When you select a link to an external website, you leave the uspto.gov site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the external website. USPTO makes use of some third-party sites to provide access to official information that is otherwise available directly from USPTO, and continually reviews these and other external links to assess their ongoing value to the public. Please note, however, that the USPTO:

  • Does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on a linked external website;
  • Does not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites or the views they express or the products and services they offer;
  • Cannot and does not authorize the use of copyrighted materials found in linked websites (you must request authorization from the sponsor of the linked websites if you wish to use copyrighted materials from those sites - see the Copyright Information section for general guidance);
  • Is not responsible for transmissions you may receive from external websites; and
  • Does not guarantee that external websites comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Links from other websites to USPTO.gov  

The USPTO does not engage in reciprocal linking arrangements. If you create a link to a USPTO website, you must do so in a manner that does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by the USPTO for your enterprise or websites. See the Copyright Information and Editorial Guidance sections for additional information. In addition, please be aware that:

  • USPTO websites are not archival; links may change and material may be removed without warning;
  • Because deep links to pages on USPTO websites may bypass critical instructions and notices to customers, you should take care to link to content's parent page(s) where relevant notices and instructions may appear; and
  • The USPTO strongly encourages archival or permanent links to the USPTO home page only.

Blogs, collaboration, and comment policy

The USPTO makes use of certain social media capabilities that permit informal, collaborative communications in a public forum. Participants who engage in such communications are expected to treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect, and are advised that:

  • The use of vulgar, offensive, threatening or harassing language is prohibited.
  • Comments should be related to the posted topic.
  • Comments that make unsupported claims or accusations are not appropriate.
  • Comments pertaining to the promotion or advertisement of a business or commercial transaction are not appropriate.
  • Comments promoting or opposing any person campaigning for election to a political office or promoting or opposing any ballot proposition are prohibited.
  • A comment should not be attributed to anyone other than the individual making the post, nor be presented in a way that is misleading about its origin.
  • Comments made in a public forum on any USPTO website are considered to be public information.
  • Comments that relate to pending applications for patents or trademarks are not appropriate for public forums.
  • Communications made through social media sites will in no way constitute a legal or official notice or comment to the USPTO or any official or employee of the USPTO for any purpose.
  • All comments are subject to review and removal if they fail to conform to the policy at any time.

Blogs on the USPTO websites represent official government communications and are managed and moderated by the Office of Chief Communications Officer. The USPTO will not post blog comments that do not conform to the policy, and will not edit or alter individual blog comments to make them conform to policy.

On USPTO’s third party sites and social media channels (e.g., Twitter or Facebook), comments are reviewed and moderated following posts. Comments which do not comply with the stated policy are not allowed, and may be removed or withheld. USPTO reserves the right to use features that may restrict the ability of users who repeatedly violate the commenting policy, including limiting their ability to comment or reporting their comments as spam.

Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other nongovernmental organizations or individuals that are allowed are provided solely for the information of individuals using the site. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of USPTO, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying USPTO endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

This policy is subject to amendment or modification at any time to ensure blogs, collaboration, and comments on the USPTO website are managed in a manner consistent with the intended purpose of the public forum.

Copyright information

Pursuant to federal law, most government-produced materials appearing on this website are not subject to copyright restrictions within the United States and are therefore in the public domain. Public domain information may be freely distributed and copied, but it is requested that in any subsequent use the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) be given appropriate acknowledgement (e.g., “Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office, www.uspto.gov”). The USPTO reserves the right to assert copyright protection internationally.

WARNING: Not all materials on the USPTO website are works of the U.S. government. When using USPTO websites, you may encounter documents, illustrations, photographs, or other informational resources contributed or licensed by private individuals, companies, or organizations that may be protected by U.S. and foreign copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners. The USPTO is unable to grant or deny permission for any materials that may be posted on its website for which the copyright is owned by a third party. Should you need copyright permission, you are solely responsible for contacting the copyright owner directly.

Please contact us regarding copyright status before publishing, distributing, or reselling any documents having outside authorship or any images contained on the webpages for this site. For additional information about copyright restrictions on U.S. government works, please see guidance posted on USA.gov . See also the Editorial Guidance section of this page regarding references to materials obtained from USPTO.gov websites, including special considerations for patents and trademarks.   

Use of USPTO seal and logo

The USPTO does not authorize the use of either its seal or logo on any other websites, except where the agency maintains an official presence on that site. USPTO, the USPTO logo, and United States Patent and Trademark Office are registered trademarks of the USPTO.

Account management

USPTO websites provide access to a rich collection of information and services, including communications, forums, online filing for patents and trademarks, fee handling, data, and search. While published information is freely provided, some features may require that you log in with a dedicated account in order to access personalized content and transactions. When you complete the registration process to obtain an account, you will receive an account and password. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account information, and for all activities that occur under your account, including any information data, software, or other materials that you may post or upload. Each practitioner will be responsible for verifying the identity of the person using any sponsored support staff account. For information on your identity verification responsibilities, please refer to the Patent Electronic System Access Document. You must log off from your account at the end of each session and must immediately notify USPTO of any unauthorized use of your account information or any other breach of security; USPTO is not liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to perform these actions. Users accessing Patent Center must abide by the Patent Electronic System Subscriber Agreement and PKI Subscribers Agreement. See the USPTO Privacy Policy for other important details about safeguarding your personal data.

You may terminate or deactivate your USPTO account and related access to USPTO services by submitting a termination request to USPTO. In addition, USPTO may, without prior notice, terminate, deactivate, limit your access to, or suspend your USPTO account, and related access to certain USPTO services. Cause for such action by USPTO shall include, but not be limited to, (a) breaches or violations of the Terms of Use or other incorporated agreements or guidelines, (b) requests by law enforcement or other government agencies, (c) discontinuance or material modification to the USPTO services (or any part thereof), (d) unexpected technical or security issues or problems, (e) extended periods of inactivity, (f) engagement by you in fraudulent or illegal activities, (g) nonpayment of any fees owed by you in connection with the USPTO services, and/or (h) sharing of accounts and/or account passwords when they are intended for the sole use by the customer who registers for the account). Further, you agree that all terminations, limitations of access and suspensions for cause shall be made in USPTO's sole discretion and that USPTO shall not be liable to you or any third party for any termination or deactivation of your account or related access to the USPTO services.


This is a USPTO computer system, which may be accessed and used only for official Government business by authorized personnel. Unauthorized access, actions, use, modification, or disclosure of the data contained herein or in transit to/from this system constitutes a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Pub. L. No. 99-474, codified at 18 U.S.C. §1030, state criminal and civil laws, and may subject violators to criminal, civil, and/or administrative action and penalties. Unauthorized use or actions exceeding authorized use of USPTO systems will be investigated, and, when appropriate, official sanctions will be imposed. All data contained on USPTO computer systems is owned by the USPTO, and may be monitored, intercepted, recorded, read, copied, captured, and disclosed in any manner by authorized personnel. THERE IS NO RIGHT OF PRIVACY IN THIS SYSTEM. System personnel may give to law enforcement officials, for investigation and prosecution, any potential evidence of crime found on USPTO computer systems. USE OF THIS SYSTEM BY ANY USER, AUTHORIZED OR UNAUTHORIZED, CONSTITUTES CONSENT TO THIS MONITORING, INTERCEPTION, RECORDING, READING, COPYING, CAPTURING, AND DISCLOSURE.

The USPTO uses HTTPS protocol and other forms of data encryption when necessary to protect sensitive data such as financial account information.

For website security and to ensure that USPTO Web services remain available to the general public, the USPTO monitors network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, deny service, otherwise cause damage or access non-public information. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the United States criminal code (18 U.S.C. § 1030). Information regarding possible violations of law may be provided to law enforcement officials.

This information system may contain Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that is subject to safeguarding or dissemination controls in accordance with law, regulation, or government-wide policy.  Any activity or operation, whether generated automatically or manually, that results in or has the potential to result in denial or decrease of service for other customers may be denied access to USPTO.gov Web resources without notice. If you believe your IP address may have been blocked, you may contact the Webmaster for instructions.

Use of USPTO databases

USPTO’s online databases are not designed or intended to be a source for bulk downloads of USPTO data when accessed through the website’s interfaces. Individuals, companies, IP addresses, or blocks of IP addresses who, in effect, deny or decrease service by generating unusually high numbers of database accesses (searches, pages, or hits), whether generated manually or in an automated fashion, may be denied access to USPTO servers without notice.

Bulk data products may be separately obtained from the USPTO, either for free or at the cost of dissemination. For details, see information on Electronic Bulk Data Products

>> Terms of Use Statement for PAIR databases

Editorial guidance

Proper citation

It is considered a good practice, both academically and editorially, to properly credit the source of any materials not authored by you. Subject to other terms described on this page, you may cite materials obtained from USPTO.gov websites using any or all of the following:

Patent information

Patents are published as part of the terms of granting the patent to the inventor. Subject to limited exceptions reflected in 37 CFR 1.71(d) & (e) and 1.84(s), the text and drawings of a patent are typically not subject to copyright restrictions. The inventors' rights to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States for a limited time is not compromised by the publication of the description of the invention. In other words, the fact that a patent's description may have been published without copyright restrictions does not give you permission to manufacture or use the invention without permission from the inventor during the active life of the patent. See MPEP § 600 - 608.01(v) regarding the right to include a copyright or mask work notice in patents.

Trademark information

Trademark images are published by the USPTO for public information dissemination purposes in accordance with the law. If you wish to use a trademark obtained from our records, you must do so in accordance with the individual licensing policies of the marks' owners. The USPTO will not assist in contacting trademark owners or arranging and managing licensing agreements.

CAUTION: There are instances where trademarks may be embedded in patents as part of the drawing, particularly for design patents. There are also instances where a portion of the text or drawings of a patent may be under copyright. You should consult an attorney regarding these potential trademark and copyright issues. The USPTO will not assist in determining if a potential trademark issue or copyright issue exists for a particular patent.