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USPTO to Expand to Texas, Colorado, California

USPTO building (USPTO.gov)

(USPTO.gov)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) says it will open three new satellite offices in or around Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, and Silicon Valley, California. The three new offices will join Detroit, Michigan as satellites to USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The Detroit office is set to open on 13 July.

The Denver Post reported yesterday that the new locations beat out applications from New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Washington state.

The four satellite offices are expected to hire more patent examiners and Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences judges to help USPTO process patent applications. The new offices should reduce the backlog of unexamined patents, and speed up the overall process, allowing businesses to move their inventions to market more quickly. The Detroit office will employ some 120 individuals in its first year of operations.

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011, signed into law in September, 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. USPTO says selection of the four sites was based upon a comprehensive analysis of criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, ability to recruit and retain employees, and the ability to engage the intellectual property community.

The agency says it reviewed more than 600 comments made in response to a Federal Register notice about plans for the new offices, as well as held meetings with hundreds of state and local officials, and congressional delegations. Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and USPTO director David Kappos plan to travel to each of the newly selected cities to meet with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and public officials to discuss the new office openings.

USPTO plans to develop a concept of operations for the three newly-announced locations based on the Detroit office and develop best practices based on this model. The agency is expected to begin site procurements and establish a timeline for the three new locations in the coming months.

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