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November 26, 2003
#03-33

Contact:
Ruth Nyblod
703-305-8341
ruth.nyblod@uspto.gov

Press Release, 03-33

New USPTO Headquarters Opens for Business in Alexandria, Va.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003
Press tour at 5 p.m.
Ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 p.m.
400 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA

The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), and LCOR Alexandria, LLC (LCOR), will officially open the USPTO's new consolidated headquarters facility in Alexandria, Va., in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The press is invited for a tour of the Remsen Building at 5 p.m. prior to the ceremony. The building is named in honor of Henry Remsen, Jr., chief clerk of the first patent board who recorded the first rules for the examination of patents.

"This new state-of-the-art facility supports many of our strategic goals including the transition to e-government and, most importantly, the need to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce,” noted Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property James E. Rogan. “The new headquarters will do that by providing a safe and enhanced quality of life environment for those who work here.”

Since 1989, the USPTO and GSA have worked to consolidate and update the USPTO facilities. In June 2000, GSA signed a 20-year lease with LCOR Alexandria, LLC to develop two million square feet of office and related space for the USPTO in Alexandria, Va. The first phase of occupancy will begin the first week of December with 2,600 employees. Completion and occupancy of the remaining buildings will be in late 2004 and early 2005. The whole complex of five interconnected buildings will house about 7,100 employees.

Automating the patent and trademark examination process is a major component of the agency’s 21st Century Strategic Plan. As the USPTO moves into the new facility, most of the paper will be left behind. This will improve efficiency and effectiveness while providing substantial savings in space, equipment and file maintenance costs. Patent examiners in the first technology centers to move to the new facility will be processing applications electronically. All newly filed patent applications are converted to electronic applications and processed electronically, and more than a half million pending applications are being scanned into the automated system. To date, over 300,000 applications containing more than 34 million pages have been scanned into the electronic system, making it one of the largest image file databases in the world.

The new headquarters is designed with a heightened and integrated security screening process. Security personnel will monitor the entire campus, including the parking garages, and a security checkpoint in each lobby controls access.

The USPTO Innovation Station Child Development Center will accommodate up to 138 children ranging in age from six weeks to six years when it opens in 2004. This learning-based center will provide employees the opportunity to enroll their children in a state-of-the-art early learning facility right in the midst of the USPTO campus environment.

Other amenities for employees as well as the local neighborhood include a museum, cafeteria, and multi-level green spaces on Dulany Gardens. A multi-purpose auditorium also will be available for both USPTO and community use.

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