Design 1 Homework 3.docx - The United States Patent and...

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that grants patents to inventors and businesses for their inventions, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification. Created in 1985 to administer the USPTO bar examination and investigate complaints of unethical conduct, the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) initially focused its resources and attention to admission issues. Disciplinary matters were rarely investigated and even more rarely pursued. The tide began to change after an audit by the inspector general (IG) in the late 1990s criticized the agency for not promptly investigating complaints for ethical misconduct. In the years since the IG's report, the OED has put increasingly more emphasis on attorney discipline . A key matter to note is the USPTO is unique among federal agencies because it operates solely on fees collected by its users, and not on taxpayer dollars. It s operating structure is like a business in that it receives requests for services applications for patents and trademark registrations and charges fees projected to cover the cost of performing the services it provides. The USPTO is set up to maintain a permanent, interdisciplinary historical record of all U.S. patent applications. It is based in Alexandria, Virginia. As of 2009, the end of the U.S. government's fiscal year, the PTO had 9,716 employees, Of those, 6,242 were patent examiners

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