On Friday, June 8, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that the General Services Administration (GSA) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had followed applicable procedures of the Competition in Contracting Act and the Public Buildings Act in acquiring consolidated leased space for the USPTO.
The court's decision is based on an appeal by the Charles E. Smith Companies? (Smith), USPTO's current landlord, challenging Judge Cacheris' July 29, 1999, decision that granted summary judgement to the government and dismissed Smith?s procurement lawsuit.
"Although the appeal had not delayed the project, I am pleased that the Circuit Court has validated the reasonableness of the USPTO?s requirements, as stated in the Solicitation for Offers," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.
On June 1, 2000, GSA entered into a 20-year lease with LCOR Alexandria, L.L.C. (LCOR) for the USPTO space consolidation project. LCOR will develop almost 2 million square feet of office and related lease space for USPTO on the Carlyle site in Alexandria, Va. USPTO presently occupies rented space in 18 separate office buildings spanning a 1.1-mile area in Arlington, Virginia. USPTO's current facilities are in need of expansion and alterations to meet the agency's programmatic needs.
USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters. Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.
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