The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the Federal agency responsible 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 to "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 also registers trademarks based on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3).
The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. Under the USPTO system of protection, new products have been invented, new uses for old ones discovered, and employment opportunities created for millions of Americans.
The following website provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions for the United States Patent and Trademark Office: http://www.uspto.gov/faq/index.jsp