What is a patent? What do “patent pending” and “patent applied for” mean? How do you go about applying for a patent? This indispensable handbook, originally published by the U.S. Government’s Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) not only answers these and many other questions frequently asked of the agency, but provides readers with general information about patents and how the PTO operates. Designed specifically for non-attorneys and written in clear, easy-to-understand language, the guide takes readers through the registration process step by step, beginning with general information about the functions of the Patent and Trademark Office. Accessible discussions follow about patent law, what can be patented, conditions for obtaining a patent, the process of registering patents, and who may apply. Also covered are filing and maintenance fees; models, exhibits, and specimens; correction of patents, the nature of patent rights, patent infringement, design and plant patents, treaties and foreign patents, and much more. Of immense use to inventors and prospective applicants, this brief general introduction to the subject will also be of value to students and other interested people.