Yesterday, the USPTO announced its plans to expand operations outside Washington, D.C. as part of an ongoing effort to spur innovation and create new economic opportunities for American innovators. Decided back in 2010, Detroit, Michigan will be home to the first satellite office; the remaining three spots were awarded to Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colorado, and Silicon Valley, California. Under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), signed into law by President Obama in September, it is a requirement of the USPTO to establish such satellite locations to effectively modernize the U.S. patent system.
Next week, Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and USPTO Director David Kappos will meet with local officials and businesses in each of the regions to discuss plans for development and implementation.“Intellectual property protection and innovation are engines of economic growth and the bedrock of America’s private sector,” said Blank. “The Obama administration is committed to making certain our businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow, create jobs and compete globally. These new offices are an historic step toward further advancing our world’s best IP system, and reinforcing the United States as the number one destination for innovation capital, and research and development around the world.”
The four sites were selected based on a number of criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, ability to recruit and retain employees, and the ability to engage the intellectual property community. The Detroit Office (set to open on July 13th) will act as a model for the three newly-appointed locations as they begin to conceptualize daily operations and best practices. Among other objectives, one of the primary responsibilities of each office will be to maximize patent quality while further reducing backlog of patent applications and appeals. Plans for site development will be drawn out in the coming months.