Useful References and Web Sites for Intellectual Property

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

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 Executive branch "promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries." The USPTO registers trademarks based on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3). Under this system of protection, American industry has flourished. New products have been invented, new uses for old ones discovered, and employment opportunities created for millions of Americans. The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs. The USPTO is at the cutting edge of the Nation's technological progress and achievement.

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 the stronger and more effective IP protection around the world. The USPTO furthers effective 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.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.

WIPO was established by the WIPO Convention in 1967 with a mandate from its Member States to promote the protection of IP throughout the world through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organizations. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. The Director General is Francis Gurry.

The European Patent Office

The European Patent Office (EPO) provides a uniform application procedure for individual inventors and companies seeking patent protection in up to 40 European countries. It is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation and is supervised by the Administrative Council.

The Japan Patent Office (JPO)

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) is responsible for the protection of the rights for patents for inventions, utility models for devices, industrial designs, and trademarks. In Japan, these four kinds of rights are called "industrial property rights."

All patent attorneys, who are acting in a professional capacity and on behalf of someone to conduct procedures with the JPO, have to belong to the Japan Patent Attorneys Association. The JPAA can be helpful in finding a representative for you in Japan.

The Japan Patent Attorneys Association (Benrishi-kai)
Address: 3-4-2 Kasumigaseki,
Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100-0013 JA PAN
Tel: +81-3-3581-1211
Fax: +81-3-3581-9188
Web site:

The Intellectual Property Office (UK)

The official government body responsible for Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. These rights include:

  • Patents
  • Designs
  • Trade marks
  • Copyright

We are an Executive Agency of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). As part of the BIS, we are responsible for the role of IP rights in supporting innovation.

Our Corporate Plan sets out what we plan to do in the coming year.

Our Annual Review and Annual Report lets you know what we have done in the past year.

As an Executive Agency of the BIS we are directed and controlled by corporate governance rules to ensure that we, supply public services of the highest quality, share good ideas, control costs and above all deliver what we are supposed to.

To ensure that we act within these rules Ministers appoint independent members to sit on a Steering Board. This Steering Board has no executive functions; its role is to advise Ministers, through our Director General, on the strategies that we must adopt.

The Steering Board has established an Audit Committee to assist and advise it on risk, control, governance and associated issues. The Committee acts in a non-executive capacity.

Franklin Pierce Law Center (University of New Hampshire School of Law)


IP Mall


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


The U.S. Copyright Office

The U.S. Copyright Office is part of a long tradition of promoting progress of the arts and protection for the works of authors. The Office's mission is "To promote creativity by administering and sustaining an effective national copyright system."  The Office's goal is to make major improvements in our public services and a key part of this initiative is providing the opportunity to register your works online via our website.

U.S. Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
(202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free)

U.S. Courts

The U.S. Courts are an independent, national judiciary providing fair and impartial justice within the jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution and Congress. As an equal brach of government, the federal Judiciary preserves and enhances its core values as the courts meet changing national and local needs.