Patent policy | USPTO

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The Office of Policy and International Affairs of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides policy leadership, advocacy, and technical and business expertise on national and international patents and intellectual property rights (IP) related to patents. This includes regular representation of the United States government in bilateral and multilateral intellectual property and trade negotiations, including representation at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the five intellectual property offices (IP5 ), the Industrial Design Forum (ID5) and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).

Patents and patent-related policies encompass a number of areas critical to addressing the many domestic and international patent-related issues facing US rights holders. These include:

  • National patents and patent policy issues with respect to international obligations, foreign law and practice, as well as the development of US practice and jurisprudence.
  • Negotiation of treaties and monitoring of application provisions of international patent treaties.
  • Implementation and Compliance with International Treaty Obligations by the United States concerning patents, industrial designs, plants and plant varieties, and the protection of trade secrets and regulatory data.
  • Technical assistance and training on patent issues for US and foreign officials.

Some of the major international patent and patent agreements that the USPTO has helped to develop, negotiate, and continue to monitor and advance include the Agreement on Trade Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the Cooperation Treaty in patent matters (PCT), patent law. (PLT) and the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. For more information on these treaties and related matters, please visit the links below.

Questions about the content on this page can be directed to the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs at [email protected]


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