• Authority over U.S. patent and trademark law
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) exercises authority over the intellectual property areas of these names. Applicants for either patent or trademark rights will accordingly come under the overview wielded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as will either provide or withhold intellectual property rights based on the particular case and the specific applicant’s degree of eligibility.
• Relevant statutes
o Patent law
The functions exercised by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office toward the first of these named areas for regulation are through the authority furnished by the language contained in the Constitution’s Article I, Section, 8, Clause 8, which empowers Congress to pass patent-specific legislation in order to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive rights to their respective discoveries.”
o Trademark law
The second of these named functions is carried out by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in regard to the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3. This section of the document is otherwise referred to as the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters and structure
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been based, since 2006, in Alexandria, Virginia, having previously been based out of Arlington, Virginia. In the wider international context of patent law, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is considered a Trilateral Patent Office, alongside the other such offices represented by the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and European Patent Office (EPO), and exercises the various functions provided through the Patent Cooperation Treaty. At present, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is administered by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.
• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registration examination
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office administers a regular registration examination, also referred to as the patent bar, toward the end of certifying people toward the ability to act as patent representatives.
• Listing of patents and trademarks
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will list trademarks either through the Principal or Supplemental Register, and also maintains a collection of patents in a database extending back to the beginning of the system in 1790.
• Additional functions for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
In addition to providing patent and trademark registration rights, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office carries out advisory functions in regard to the U.S. government, including to the White House and the Secretary of Commerce. Moreover, larger issues related to trade and commerce can also be provided for through the functions exercised by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In general, the mission for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is defined as being toward the “industrial and technological progress in the United States” and to “strengthen the national economy.”
• Funding of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has generally been subject to Congressionally imposed requirements for 10% of the fees collected by the agency into the country’s generally applicable treasury.