A summary of responses received to a June 2023 Request for Comments (RFC) seeking public input on the establishment of a Southeast Regional Office (SERO) and Northern New England Community Outreach Office (NNECOO) is now available.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) received 208 total responses on potential office locations, as well as what services these offices should provide and what collaborations they should build with other agencies and organizations.
“Thank you to everyone who provided valuable feedback as we seek to meet people where they are in order to foster a more inclusive innovation ecosystem,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “We are excited to use this information to provide America’s innovators the support they need to reach their fullest creative potential.”
The USPTO will use the responses, along with statutory requirements and other criteria defined in the RFC, to make an informed decision on the locations for the SERO and NNECOO. We anticipate that decision will be announced this winter.
Respondents identified educational outreach, opportunities for easy collaboration among researchers and inventors, and filing assistance for underrepresented patent and trademark applicants as the most essential services for USPTO’s outreach offices. These recommendations will help guide how the agency uses those offices to support inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners and expand access to the intellectual property (IP) system.
 These offices are authorized by the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (UAIA), signed into law in December 2022.