U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO)

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 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is at the cutting edge of the nation’s technological progress and achievement as the Federal agency responsible for granting patents, registering trademarks, and providing intellectual property policy advice and guidance to the Executive Branch. Through its participation in the NNI, and working with other agencies through the NSET Subcommittee, the USPTO has made several improvements to its processes to keep pace with the rapid advances being made in this area. Notably, the USPTO adopted the NNI definition of nanotechnology in its development of the first detailed, patent-related nanotechnology classification hierarchy of any major intellectual property office in the world. The USPTO has also used the networking and information-sharing opportunities presented by participation in the NNI to establish nanotechnology-related training opportunities for patent examiners. The USPTO has significantly contributed to the NNI by providing advice on patent and other intellectual property-related matters, as well as contributing a variety of nanotechnology-related patent data, which have been used as a benchmark to analyze nanotechnology development and to perform trend analysis of nanotechnology patenting activity in the United States and globally.