Site selection battles for three new satellite offices for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have been won by Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and San Jose, California. This is in addition to the earlier announcement of another patent office to be opened in Detroit, Michigan.
The America Invents Act of 2011, signed into law by President Obama in September last year, requires the USPTO to establish regional satellite locations as part of a larger effort to modernize the U.S. patent system over the next three years.
“By expanding our operation outside of the Washington metropolitan area for the first time in our agency’s 200-plus year history, we are taking unprecedented steps to recruit a diverse range of talented technical experts, creating new opportunities across the American workforce,” said David Kappos, director of the USPTO. “These efforts, in conjunction with our ongoing implementation of the America Invents Act, are improving the effectiveness of our IP [intellectual property] system, and breathing new life into the innovation ecosystem.”
The site selection for the four new USPTO offices was based upon criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, ability to recruit and retain employees, and the ability to engage the intellectual property community.
Over 600 cities applied to be chosen as the site for the new patent offices. The site selection team narrowed it down to 50 MSAs based on the previously stated criteria to assess operational cost and feasibility, ability to improve patent quality, and ability to employ U.S. veterans.
Denver faced tough competition from Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Albuquerque. Metro Denver EDC, the Colorado Bar Association IP division and Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s office partnered to create and submit Denver’s application, “Accelerating Innovation: The Case for a Satellite Patent Office in Colorado.”
“There’s no doubt that this is an amazing development for our culture of innovation,” commented Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC. “Since Colorado ranks among the top five states for entrepreneurial activity, the new satellite patent office in our region will make it very efficient for our inventors and technology companies to get their intellectual property done here in Colorado.”
The patent office will bring hundreds of patent examiner jobs to Denver as well as a considerable number of related positions, and an anticipated economic impact of $440 million in the first five years of operation.
California’s Silicon Valley, which has the most number of patent registrations in the US, was a sure thing for one office. The only question was about which city would get it, and San Jose locked it up by offering a 20,000 sq. ft. space in City Hall.
“The Commerce Department’s decision to locate a new patent office in the Silicon Valley recognizes that California is the world capital of creativity and invention,” said California Gov. Jerry Brown. “Nearly a quarter of the nation’s patent applications originate here, and I join all Californians in applauding this decision.”