Bay Area inventors will soon have easier access to patent their inventions with the announced opening of a new US Patent and Trademark Office in Silicon Valley.
San Jose, along with Denver and Dallas, was chosen to receive one of the first patent offices located outside the US Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
These regional satellite offices were made possible patent reform law, passed in Congress and signed by President Obama in September. The law requires the opening of at least three satellite offices by 2014.
The first satellite office, will be in Detroit. That office should open July 13. The location and opening date of the San Jose office has not been set.
Commerce Department officials stressed the importance of expanding to regional centers of America.
“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 US Patent and Trademark Office.
“These efforts, in conjunction with our ongoing implementation of the America Invents Act, are improving the effectiveness of our IP system, and breathing new life into the innovation ecosystem.”
Bay Area political leaders were quick to praise the decision and stress the key role this new office will play.
“With Stanford and other top research universities, a highly skilled workforce, and a sizable share of the nation's patents, it's critical to have a patent office in Silicon Valley”, said Representative Anna Eshoo.
Eshoo, along with colleagues Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Mike Honda, advocated for a California office.
The San Jose Bureau will likely have between 150 and 200 new patent examiners, who will be of assistance with the current backlog of 620,000 pending applications.