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Note: The information which LegalArrow® offers below is for general informational purposes only, and is not, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. See our entire Disclaimer. On this website you can order professional trademark search and registration services, as well as copyright registration services. Patent services coming soon.


USPTO? What is it?

USPTO stands for United States Patent and Trademark Office, and is part of the Department of Commerce. As the name suggests, USPTO is responsible for the issuance of patents and the registration of trademarks in the United States.


If you invent something, you may be able to obtain exclusive rights in that invention in US by filing a patent application with USPTO. If a patent is granted for your invention, you can stop others from profiting from your invention. You have the exclusive rights to sell, license, or use the invention. A patent is issued for 14 years (design patent), or 20 years (utility patent). USPTO receives and processes hundreds of thousands of patent applications every year from American and foreign inventors. The USPTO has the responsibility to review these application and issue patents only for true inventions, meaning that the inventions must be novel, non-obvious, and useful.


The second responsibility of the USPTO is to register trademarks. "Through the registration of trademarks, [USPTO] assists businesses in protecting their investments, promoting goods and services, and safeguarding consumers against confusion and deception in the marketplace" (USPTO). While rights in a trademark may be acquired by using the trademark in commerce, or by registering the trademark at state level, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several advantages, as for example:

  • constructive notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the trademark;

  • a legal presumption of the registrant's ownership of the trademark and the registrant's exclusive right to use the trademark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration;

  • the ability to bring a lawsuit concerning the trademark in federal court;

  • the ability to file the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.

  • the use of the U.S registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.

Unlike a patent, a trademark registration is valid indefinitely, assuming the trademark owner continues to use the trademark in commerce. It is important to note that USPTO maintains a database of registered trademarks. This database can be searched for potentially conflicting trademarks before filing a trademark registration application with the USPTO.


No. Copyrights are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and not with the USPTO. Compare Copyright with Trademark and Patent.



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