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Patent registration in the United States (Public Law Nos. 117-328)

Recently, the number of patent registration related to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain technology, and green technology is increasing rapidly. The United States is one of the leading countries in the number of patent applications globally. Each year, the USPTO grants hundreds of thousands of patents to individuals and businesses worldwide. In 2021, the U.S. ranked second in the number of international patent applications, with 59,570, behind only China (69,540). In 2021, the USPTO received more than 660,000 patent applications and granted more than 327,000 patents. As of December 2022, the USPTO has granted a total of more than 11 million patents. Based on the growth trend in recent years, the number of patent applications in the US in the following years is expected to continue to increase. Technology sectors that attract the most patent applications in the U.S. include: Information and Communication Technology (IT), Medical and Pharmaceutical Technology, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Biotechnology, and Energy Technology. However, many people still do not know the procedure for patent registration in the US, Viet An Law would like to guide customers preliminarily the procedure for patent registration in the US through the article below.

Patent registration in the United States

Table of contents


    Legal basis

    • S. Code, Title 35 – Patents (35 U.S.C., as amended to Public Law Nos. 117-328)

    Definition of patent in the US

    In the United States, a patent is the granting of ownership rights to an patent, which is a new and unclear process, machinery, manufactured product, material or improved component. A patent grants the owner a legal right that prevents others from producing, using, selling, or importing the patent within the United States for a limited period of time, usually 20 years from the date of filing the patent application. To be eligible for a patent, the patent must meet the following criteria:

    • Patentable Object: An patent must fall into one of the categories of patentable objects, including processes, machines, manufactured products, material components, and their improvements.
    • Novelty: The patent must be new, meaning it has never been previously described in a print publication or publicly used or sold in the US.
    • Ambiguity: The patent is not obvious to a person with ordinary skills in the field to which the patent belongs.
    • Usefulness: The patent must have a useful purpose and be capable of industrial application.

    Types of patents granted in the US

    • Utility patents: This is the most common type of patent and is granted for new and useful processes, machines, manufactured products, material or improved components.
    • Design patents: Granted for new, original and decorative designs for a manufactured product.
    • Plant patents: Granted to new and distinct plant varieties that are asexually reproduced.

    Patent registration lookup in the US

    Official USPTO Database

    Patent Public Search: This is the official search engine of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The system provides information on patent applications that have been published and patents that have been granted. Users can access it here:


    Other sources

    • Google Patents: This is a free search tool that allows claimants to search for patents from around the world, including the US. The system has a user-friendly interface and different search options. Users can access here: https://patents.google.com/
    • org: This is a powerful search engine for patents and scholarly works. The system offers comprehensive search results and various filtering options. Users can access it here: https://lens.org/

    Patent registration in the US

    To apply for a patent in the United States, an applicant needs to prepare and file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The filing for a patent application usually includes the following documents:

    • Patent application: This form includes details such as the type of patent claimed (utility, design, or botanical) and the name and address of the inventor(s).
    • Specification: This is the most important document in the dossier. It includes detailed descriptions of the patent, including context, technical areas, problems to be solved, solutions, and best practices. For utility patents, it also includes statements defining the scope of protection sought for the patent. For design patents, it includes drawings showing the form of the patent.
    • Drawings (if any): Utility patents and plant patents need to provide additional drawings to illustrate the patent. Styling patents always require drawings to show the form of the design.
    • Oath or Declaration: This document is signed by the inventor(s) to declare that they believe they are the original and first inventor(s) of the claimed patent.
    • Application fee
    • Other documents: Depending on the specific case, the applicant may need to submit additional documents, such as:
      • Assign: If the applicant is not the inventor, there must be a written assignment transferring the rights to the patent from the inventor(s) to the applicant.
      • Information Disclosure Statement (IDS): An IDS is a list of publications that are relevant to the patentability of an patent.
      • Foreign Preference Document: If the applicant has filed a patent application in another country for the same patent, the applicant may claim priority based on that filing previously. To do so, the applicant needs to provide a copy of the foreign application and an English translation with a consular legalization certificate.

    Patent registration fees in the US

    Utility patents

    • Microbusiness: $65 (application), $20 (search), $40 (appraisal)
    • Small Business: $130 (application), $40 (search), $80 (appraisal)
    • Large business: $260 (application), $80 (search), $160 (appraisal)

    Design patents

    • Microenterprise: $45 (applicant)
    • Small Business: $90 (application)
    • Large Business: $180 (application)

    Plant patents

    • Microenterprises: $45 (application), $20 (search), $30 (appraisal)
    • Small Business: $90 (application), $40 (search), $60 (appraisal)
    • Large business: $180 (application), $80 (search), $120 (appraisal)

    Other fees

    • Excess claim fee: If an applicant’s patent application has more than a certain number of claim pages, the applicant will have to pay an additional fee for each claim that exceeds the limit.
    • Renewal fee: If the applicant needs more time to respond to office actions or pay fees, the applicant may need to pay a renewal fee.
    • Patent fee: After the applicant’s patent is approved, the applicant will need to pay the patent fee.

    How to file a patent in the US

    To file a patent application in the US, you can file using the following filing methods:

    • Direct filing: You can go directly to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at Customer Service Window Knox Building 501 Dulany Street Alexandria, VA 22314 The Customer Service Window is located in room 1D80 of the Knox Building to file the application and related documents.
    • By Post: You can send your application and all required documents via postal service or courier service to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at Customer Service Window Knox Building 501 Dulany Street Alexandria, VA 22314 The Customer Service Window is located in room 1D80 of the Knox Building.
    • You can apply for patent protection via the link below:


    Patent registration in the US via PCT system

    What is a PCT system?

    The PCT system stands for  Patent Cooperation Treaty – an international treaty that aims to create a uniform process for filing international patent applications. The system is administered by  the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and has more than 150 countries involved, including the United States.

    Benefits of PCT system:

    • Time and cost savings: The PCT system allows applicants to file a single patent application for patent protection in multiple Treaty countries, instead of having to file a separate application in each country. This saves time, costs and administrative procedures.
    • Postponement of national filing deadline: When filing a PCT application, the applicant has an additional 30 months to decide which country the applicant wants to protect the patent. This is valuable time for the applicant to assess the commercial potential of the patent and prepare for the national filing.
    • Simplified Process: The PCT system uses a common set of rules and procedures for all participating countries, which simplifies the filing process and saves time for both the applicant and the national patent office.
    • Early Search Information: The International Patent Search Office and Written Opinion will provide the applicant with information about the novelty and patentability of the patent, helping the applicant make an informed decision about the national filing.
    • Strengthening international cooperation: The PCT system encourages international cooperation in the field of patents by creating a common platform for the exchange of information and sharing of experiences between countries.
    • Innovation support: PCT systems help promote innovation by reducing the procedural burden on inventors and making it easier for them to protect their patents worldwide.

    Patent application through PCT system

    To file a patent application through the PCT system, you need to prepare a dossier that includes the following documents:

    • PCT Application: Applications can be submitted in Vietnamese or English, however, it is recommended to be submitted in English to facilitate the processing process. You can download the PCT form from the WIPO website: https://www.wipo.int/pct/en/forms/
    • Description of patent: The description of the patent should present details and clarity about the patent, including:
      • Patent Name Technical field
      • Patent summary
      • Detailed explanation of the patent
      • Drawings (if any)
      • Claims for protection
    • Claim for protection: The claim should clearly define the scope of protection that the applicant wants for the patent.
    • Patent Declaration: The patent statement should clearly identify the inventor (or inventors).
    • Letter of Authorization (if applicable): If the applicant uses an intellectual property representative to file the application, the applicant should provide a Power of Attorney Letter authorizing the representative to represent the applicant on behalf of the applicant during the application process and processing the procedure.

    Additional documents (may require):

    • Priority Document (if applicable): If the applicant filed a patent application for the same patent in another country prior to filing the PCT application, the applicant may claim priority based on the filing date.
    • Translation (if applicable): If any of the documents on file are not in English or French, the applicant needs to provide a translation into either of these languages.
    • Application fee: The applicant needs to pay the PCT application fee to the International Reception Office (IB).

    US patent registration service of Viet An Law Firm

    • Perform the search and notify customers in writing the results of patent search in the US;
    • Draft documents and directly file and monitor the status of patent filings in the United States on behalf of patent owners;
    • Inform, advise and handle deficiencies/refusals of competent State agencies (if any) in the process of monitoring patent applications in the US;
    • Support monitoring, representing the resolution of objections and feedback with intellectual property representatives to carry out procedures in the US.
    • Receive dispatches, certificates and hand over to customers (if any).

    If you need to file a patent application in the US, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the most effective support.

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