USPTO’s satellite offices support the agency’s mission to foster the growing contribution that intellectual property makes to the growing economy. The America Invents Act (AIA) dictates that at least three satellite offices be established by the USPTO in three years. The Detroit satellite office is the first of four selected by the USPTO to increase outreach, improve retention and recruitment of patent examiners, decrease the patent application backlog and improve the quality of examination. It is the first stage of the USPTO’s Nationwide Workforce Program, which has been working to recruit more experienced patent professionals with the intention that these individuals will be more productive and have a higher retention rate.

The city of Detroit is an important national innovation center and has a high percentage of scientists and engineers in the workforce. Detroit is also home to major resource institutions and leading universities which allows for recruitment of experienced patent professionals. The office also serves as a valuable resource to entrepreneurs and innovators throughout the Midwest.

Dr. Christal Sheppard has joined the USPTO as the Director of Detroit office.  Prior to joining the Agency she was assistant professor at the University of Nebraska where she co-founded a program of Concentrated Study in Intellectual Property law at the Law College.  Dr. Sheppard has a M.S. and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Cornell University Law School. She has over two decades of Science and Intellectual Property Law and Policy experience including as practicing attorney at Foley & Lardner and the United States International Trade Commission and internships with Judge Radar at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Executive Office of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy. In 2005, Dr. Sheppard completed Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education for Senior Managers in Government program, and in 2014, she completed a George Mason University Law and Economics Institute two-week workshop.

Her successful career in intellectual property law and policy includes her tenure as Chief Counsel on Patents and Trademarks for the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary where she was integral in many endeavors including the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most comprehensive change to this nation's intellectual property laws in over 60 years.


Visitors may park in the visitor parking lot (directly across the street from 300 River Place). Self-park your car, pay the valet attendant $4.00 and receive a ticket. You can have the ticket validated by Security in the lobby when you sign in. Present the validated ticket to the valet attendant as you leave; your money will be refunded at that time. Note: If you opt to park your car through the valet attendant, the cost is $5 and will not be reimbursed.

Building Access

Proceed to the Security Desk and sign-in. The security guards will contact the USPTO to confirm access. They will direct you to a bank of elevators. Proceed to the 2nd floor and upon exiting, you will see the suite entrance for Suite 2900. Once you arrive, please ring the doorbell for admittance.



Public Events

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Public Tours

Anyone interested in learning more about the USPTO's Detroit office is welcome to attend one of the public tours scheduled on the third Friday of each month (except Federal holidays).  Tour participants must register at least 24 hours in advance by email: or phone (313)446-4800.  

Visitors to the Detroit off must have a government issued ID that meets the REAL ID Act standards.  For more information on our visitor policy, please contact the Office of Security at 5671-272-8000.  For additional information about the REAL ID Act, please visit  

Check-in for the tours begins at 11:30 am.  The tour will begin at noon with a brief presentation and will conclude with a walk through of the office.  The tour will end by 1:00 pm.


Public Searching

Universal Public Workstations at the Elijah J. McCoy USPTO Satellite Office in Detroit provide access to the agency’s public electronic patent and trademark collections. The public search room is designed to enable individual researchers to conduct self-directed searches. The Detroit office has two public workstations available for conducting searches that have the same access requirements and print capabilities as identical public workstations in USPTO’s Public Search Facility. Customers who have limited experience in patent or trademark searching, or are new to the subject area of patents and trademarks, are strongly encouraged to first contact or pay a visit to the Detroit Public Library. The Detroit Public Library is a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) that offers beginner orientation on searching for patents and trademarks and is located about four miles from the Detroit office.

Public searching on universal public workstations is available from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday, except federal holidays.

The Public Search Facility at USPTO's Alexandria, Va. headquarters offers access to additional collections and services.


Video conferencing equipment is available for use for patent application interviews and can be scheduled once an interview has been set up with an applicant’s respective examiner. Please work with your examiner to schedule an interview at the Detroit Satellite Office using video conferencing equipment. For any additional assistance, please to contact the Detroit office at (313) 446-4800.

Patent Trial and Appeal Board

Judges for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in Detroit work in conjunction with judges at the USPTO’s main campus in Alexandria, Va.