The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that issues patents to inventors and businesses for their inventions, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification.

The USPTO cooperates with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) as one of the Trilateral Patent Offices. The USPTO is also a Receiving Office, an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examination Authority for international patent applications filed in accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Electronic filing system

The USPTO will accept patent applications filed in electronic form. As of March 2006, inventors or their patent agents/attorneys can file applications as Adobe PDF documents. The web page for submitting applications is Filing fees can be paid by credit card or by a USPTO “deposit account”.

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): FAQs about Patents and Trademarks

FAQs include topics:

  • General FAQs
  • Invention Help
  • PATENTS – Basic Process
  • PATENTS – Amendments
  • FEES
  • Glossary
  • Other FAQs

USPTO – General questions:

  • Do you have an 800 number?
  • How do I find out if I need a patent, trademark or a copyright?
  • How do I apply for a copyright?
  • Where can I obtain a USPTO form?
  • Does the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offer tours?
  • How do I obtain information regarding the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program?
  • Is there help to enforce trademarks, patents and copyrights overseas and stop pirated or counterfeited goods?

Find FAQs on other topics


Customer Support Offices

Patent EBC Customer Service Center:

866 217-9197 (toll-free) or 571-272-4100
or send e-mail to

For Patent Electronic Filing System, send e-mail to

Inventors Assistance Center: 800 786-9199 or 571 272-1000

TTY customers can dial 571-272-9950 for customer assistance.

Other Patent Application Processing

Initial Patent Examination, Office of (OIPE) 571 272-4000 – applications

  • Assignment Division 571 272-3350
  • Petitions, Office of 571 272-3282
  • Publishing Division 571-272-4200 or 888 786-0101
  • Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) Helpdesk 571-272-4300

Problems with using TEAS to file trademark applications?


Trademark Assistance Center:

1 800 786-9199

For Copy Ordering questions call Office of Public Records’ Customer Service

571 272 3150 or 800 972-6382 – available 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Finance/Fee Payment questions may be directed to:

Deposit Account Branch 571-272-6500

Patent Maintenance Fee Branch 571-272-6500

Refund Branch 571-272-6500

Note: The article above may not contain current information.

See also…

Copyright, Trademark, Patent