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WASHINGTON - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a Federal Register Notice today seeking written comments on potential additional locations for USPTO satellite offices.
"Establishing satellite offices in geographically diverse areas of the country will allow the agency to better recruit and retain talented patent professionals and allow the agency to better interact with the applicant community," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "We are committed to conducting a transparent selection process based on objective criteria, and with input from stakeholders around the country."
An initial USPTO satellite office is already planned to be established in Detroit, Michigan. The agency plans to open its Detroit facility in the second half of 2012. The Detroit satellite office is expected to create more than 100 high-paying, high-skill jobs in its first year of operation and represents the first phase of the USPTO's satellite office project, an effort to hire more patent examiners and seek out additional technical expertise in locations across the country.
In choosing Detroit, the USPTO considered multiple cities and sought a location where the agency could best recruit and retain patent examiners and increase applicant outreach. The criteria included, but was not limited to: occupational clusters; number of patent attorneys and agents currently in the region; number of patent applications by state; access to universities with strong engineering programs; public transportation infrastructure and proximate location to a major airport; the ability to share facilities with other established governmental operations; the ability to support departmental objectives, including CommerceConnect, and increase collaborations among Commerce bureaus; and various economic factors, including cost of living and unemployment rates of the city.
Subject to available resources and as provided for in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), the USPTO intends to establish at least two more satellite offices in addition to the one in Detroit in the next three years.
Public comments should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or as otherwise dictated in the Federal Register Notice. Comments should provide information that supports the USPTO's purposes of establishing satellite offices, including that the location will increase outreach activities to better connect patent filers and innovators with the offices, enhance patent examiner retention, and improve recruitment of patent examiners.
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