The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a federal agency in the Department of Congress which grants and maintains records of patents and trademarks
More Information About the United States Patent Trademark Office and its Headquarters:
The Patent Office Main Campus is located at 600 Dulany St. in Alexandria, Virginia (its original location was in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia) on a campus consisting of five large buildings. Within the facility is over 9,500 employees consisting of engineers, analysts, attorneys and scientists. All of its employees work toward the common goal of protecting and enforcing United States intellectual property law.
The USPTO has been able to maintain a full operating budget through the fees charged for patent and trademark registration since 1991. Along with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the USPTO is one of the Trilateral Patent Offices of the world, responsible for handling most of the patents and trademarks that are enforced worldwide. Under the guidelines of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the USPTO is also the authority for approving patent applications filed internationally in eligible countries.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has over 9,500 employees, including of 6,242 patent and trademark examiners, and almost 400 examining attorneys. It is essential for trademark examiners to have a law degree, though patent examiners do not need a law background and usually consist of scientists or engineers.
The Commissioner for Patents is responsible for the management of three bodies in the USPTO. These bodies consist of Patent Operations, Patent Examination Policy, and Patent Resources and Planning.
Although the Trademark Office handles both patents and trademarks, the focus on trademarks has declined rapidly and shifted towards the registration of patents. This is due to the fact that entities have been given cheaper alternatives for trademark registration on a state-by-state basis.
Trademarks are registered through the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register, depending on the distinctive appearance of the trademark. A stronger and more “distinct” trademark will usually be handled by the Principal Register.