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IP Law: Patents

This guide will provide the basic information you need to know to begin researching and understanding patent law. This guide includes a patent law primer, practical help, and sources for legal research.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office

"The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."  

The USPTO advises the president of the United States, the secretary of commerce, and U.S. government agencies on intellectual property (IP) policy, protection, and enforcement and promotes more robust and effective IP protection worldwide. The USPTO furthers adequate IP protection for U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide by working with other agencies to secure strong IP provisions in free trade and other international agreements. It also provides training, education, and capacity-building programs designed to foster respect for IP and encourage the development of strong IP enforcement regimes by U.S. trading partners." --About-US USPTO Page

Patents are enforced and protected federally. The USPTO is responsible for the registration and maintenance of U.S. Patents while also ensuring compliance with international treaties. When studying or practicing patent law, the USPTO is the primary governmental agency you will contact. The USPTO's website is robust and full of useful articles, tips, and guides for applying for a patent, contesting a denial letter, and much more.

Further,  if you are performing patent prosecution (the application for a patent) be sure to review the manual of patent examining procedure to see how exactly the reviewing attorney will be evaluation your application. The MPEP is an invaluable resource for legal research because it provides the criteria of the law, relevant cases, and statutes. 

For more check out this page and scroll down to the section titled "History and functions of the USPTO

Manual of Patent examining procedure


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