Patent examiners at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) prosecute applications for patents. Examiners make determinations based on federal codes, rules, and judicial precedents. These determinations are appealable through the U.S. Courts. An appeal of these determinations is three steps away from the U.S. Supreme Court. Responsibilities for a patent examiner at the USPTO include:
- Reviewing patent applications to determine if they comply with basic format, rules and legal requirements;
- Determining the scope of the invention claimed by the inventor;
- Searching for relevant technologies to compare similar prior inventions with the invention claimed in the patent application; and
- Communication of findings as to the patentability of an applicant’s invention via a written action to inventors/patent practitioners.