Patents in the United States are governed by the Patent Act (35
U.S. Code), which established the United States Patent and Trademark
Office (the USPTO). The most common type of patent is a utility
patent. Utility patents have a duration of twenty years from the
date of filing, but are not enforceable until the day of issuance.
To obtain protection under U.S. law, the applicant must submit a
patent application to the USPTO, where it will be reviewed by an
examiner to determine if the invention is patentable. U.S. law
grants to patentees the right to exclude others from making, using,
or selling the invention.