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

Wednesday Sep 12, 2012

Progress Report on Satellite Office Openings

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

It has been a few months since we announced we would be opening three new USPTO satellite offices in Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, and Silicon Valley, so I'd like to share details of the progress we are making in all three communities.

Our satellite office team visited all three cities within weeks of our announcement, scouting potential office space and meeting with local public officials, as well as business and community leaders. We have moved in partnership with the General Services Administration (GSA) to identify locations that will be the most cost-effective, provide the greatest economic impact for the region, and enable us to recruit and retain the best employees.

GSA’s procurement process requires us to initially consider space that already is owned or leased by GSA. We were recently able to find such space in the Central Business District of Denver, in the Byron G. Rogers Building, thus securing that site with record speed.  A GSA renovation of the Denver building will be completed next summer, at which point USPTO will build out the interior office space.

In Silicon Valley and Dallas-Fort Worth, we are assessing the usefulness of existing federal space and considering whether to explore pursuing alternative leased space. It must be noted, however, that the timing of the identification of physical office space is in no way an indication of when we might be able to open these offices.  Further, selection of physical space is not the sole metric of progress, but rather one of many steps we are simultaneously advancing.  And in all three cities, we are moving ahead on all fronts.

We have from the time of our July announcement moved simultaneously in all three communities to take a number of steps that are necessary to open each of the offices in a timely fashion.  We are underway in staffing up all of the new offices, working to identify leadership and staff who know the unique contours of the business landscape in each metro area.  In all three communities, we are also reaching out to community stakeholders (business leaders, economic development commissions, and local officials) to help us spread the word about forthcoming Board of Appeals and patent examiner jobs, generating interest and helping to start the process of identifying key bases of skilled workers.  For the Silicon Valley location, we’ve recently run job postings on USAJobs.gov for administrative law judges and are now actively reviewing the applications received.

As Deputy Undersecretary Terry Rea noted just the other day, our Detroit office is fully operational, with patent applications under review and interviews with applicants being conducted. And the Detroit office is creating good jobs in that community: we anticipate having 100 patent examiners and 20 judges on site there by next summer—and a similar impact should be felt in our three other cities.

All of these steps and progress will lead to the point where regional entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Denver, and Dallas-Fort Worth will have greater insight into the patent application process and access to the USPTO facilities. Stay tuned to this blog as we provide more updates on our USPTO satellite offices, and as we continue to engage with our stakeholders around the country.

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