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Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership

Tuesday Dec 18, 2012

Progress Continues at our Four Satellite Offices

Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos

We’re making steady progress in our efforts to get all of our satellite offices up and running as quickly as possible. We recently announced that our Dallas-Fort Worth regional satellite office will be in the Terminal Annex Federal Building in Dallas. It’s a great location that’s well-suited to serve as a home for our employees, and to support the innovation community in Texas and across the southern U.S. We are already underway identifying leadership who know the unique contours of the business landscape to staff Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as our other new satellite offices.

In Silicon Valley, for example, our new director Michelle Lee is already working as our liaison with West Coast innovators, utilizing her vast experience advising highly innovative companies on legal, technological, and business issues to help ensure the success of this new office. Meanwhile, we’re taking a closer look at the communities within Silicon Valley to identify and secure the best location for a permanent office, and for near term temporary space.

In Denver, the General Services Administration is renovating our future office space. In the meantime, we have found temporary space in Lakewood, Colorado to house our Board judges and senior leadership. When we’ve made personnel choices there I will let you know.

Last but surely not least is our Detroit office, which continues to exceed our expectations. We opened only this past July, but we already have 51 patent examiners and 10 administrative judges on board. This puts us ahead of pace to meet our goal of 100 examiners and 20 judges before the end of our first year of operation. And while most of the focus of our Detroit office has been on patents, our satellite offices also serve the trademark community. In fact, Commissioner of Trademarks Debbie Cohn recently met with stakeholders at our Detroit office for a meet-and-greet prior to a USPTO-INTA Roundtable. She reports there was a great deal of interest in Trademark operations and our public outreach.

Our entire team is committed to ensuring our satellite offices are more than just an extension of the USPTO, but are also a valuable force in the economic and innovative environment in their regions. With a physical presence in every time zone, we are now closer than ever to our stakeholders across the country. This progress report highlights how far we’ve come and how we’re advancing.

Comments:

Director Kappos, I am sorry to hear you're leaving. You've led great progress but please, before you go, can you explain why telework has been banned in Detroit? (J. Moore memo on the topic issued last week.) Will it not be utilized in Denver, Dallas or the Silicon Valley either? What is the rationale for denying to satellite employees the benefits of technology to improve productivity AND work/life balance? Clearly, telework is a success in Alexandria. Why, then, after searching to find "the best" -- who come to PTO with an embrace of technology and "smart work" -- why establish a "second class" status for those working in satellite offices?

Posted by Rosalyn on January 09, 2013 at 06:30 AM EST #

Dear Rosalyn: Thank you for your post. Many of these office locations were chosen in order that we might access an expanded and exceptional talent base, and we know telework is a key piece of the agency’s working arrangements for our employees. The memo you mention is not agency-wide, and it applies only to the smaller group of Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges who work together on site in Detroit. Additionally, it is not a wholesale ban on telework for the judges located in Detroit. The memo reinforces commitments the Board made to establish a presence in Detroit and help rejuvenate the city and its surrounding communities. As the Detroit office grows in time, telework for judges will undoubtedly become more prevalent. But the judges currently in place are vitally important to establishing a presence for the Board and beginning the work of advancing prosperity in the community. The memo merely asks the judges to be present in Detroit during their working hours, and asks them to contact their management if relief, via telework, is occasionally needed. No “second-class” working arrangements for the judges are intended; the Board is simply honoring commitments we made to the Detroit community. Respectfully, Jay (James T. Moore, Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge, Patent Trial and Appeal Board)

Posted by James T. Moore on January 17, 2013 at 03:26 PM EST #

Hello I would like to know when your office in Dallas would be opening. Thanks

Posted by Wasiu Lawal on January 27, 2013 at 03:42 PM EST #

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