Patent and Trademark Technical Information Dissemination

To promote the continued growth of American technology and commerce through the utilization and dissemination of technical information available through patents and trademarks, and maintenance of public search centers containing patents and trademarks.

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - Department of Commerce field offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Website Address

Program Accomplishments

The PTO's information dissemination program provides patent and trademark information via a diverse line of products and services.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Patent and Trademark Office examines patent applications to determine the patentability of an invention and grants patents when requirements of law are met.

It publishes and disseminates information, mainly through its Internet Web site (, which contains the texts and images of over 7,000,000 patents (full-text since 1976, full-page images since 1790) and over three million registered, pending, and abandoned trademarks dating back to 1870.

The Patent and Trademark Office also sells copies of patents for $3.00 each, and maintains on site Public Search Facilities where Patent and Trademark information may be searched and copied.

Access is open to all adults who obtain a free User ID, issued only in the Patent Search Room.

The Patent Search Room is located at 600 Dulaney Street(Madison East), Lobby Level, and is open from 8:00 a.m.

to 8:00 p.m.


The Trademark paper facility is located at 2900 Crystal Drive (South Tower Building), Room 2B30 and is open from 8:00 a.m.

to 5:00 p.m.


Patent and Trademark information is available in these locations in a variety of formats including online and optical disk automated search systems, microfilm, print documents and publications.

Access is free, print and photocopies have a $.25 per page, $.50 for color fee.

Customers nationwide are also served through PTO's national network of 84 Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs).

PTDLs offer a variety of information resources and services and are staffed by information professionals trained by the PTO.

Additional information on the Public Search Facilities and the PTDLs may be found on the USPTO Web site.

There are approximately 7,400,000 U. S. patents issued to date.

These documents are arranged by subject classes and subclasses for searching.

The Patent Search Room is open from 8 a.m.

to 8 p.m.

weekdays and may be used by anyone at no charge.

The device, discovery or process described in a patent cannot be manufactured, used or sold except by the inventor or assignee for 20 years after the date of patent filing, after which it enters the public domain.

However, technical information contained in a patent can be used in many other ways.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Anyone is eligible.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Not applicable.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Not applicable.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Not applicable.

Award Procedures

Not applicable.


Not applicable.


35 U.S.C. 1-42.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements


Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct obligations) FY 07 $1,842,966,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

"General Information Concerning Patents," and "Basic Facts About Registering a Trademark" are available at no cost.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Department of Commerce field offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

General Information Services, (1-800) 786-9199 or (703) 308-4357 or Mailing Address: Patent and Trademark Office, Mailstop USPTO Contact Center PO Box 1450, Alexandria VA 22313-1450.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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