Coming to a community near you: the future of USPTO outreach

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USPTO staff interacting with attendees at CES 2024

USPTO staff share resources with attendees at CES in January 2024. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)

Coming to a community near you: the future of USPTO outreach

5 min read

Since I began my tenure over two years ago, the USPTO has worked feverishly to increase American innovation and entrepreneurship.

 As part of our efforts, we have expanded our footprint so we can better serve every community across the nation. As I shared in January of 2023, the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (UAIA) aligns with and supports these efforts, providing additional momentum for us to make lasting, sustainable change. 

I am excited to report that we have made real progress, with more to come. I am pleased to announce (1) progress on our plans to open a regional outreach office in Atlanta, Georgia and a community outreach office in Strafford County, New Hampshire, (2) new leadership at our Midwest Regional Outreach Office in Detroit, (3) updates to our Intellectual Property (IP) Champions program and resources located at local libraries and schools, and (4) updates on the establishment of our Office of Public Engagement (OPE) that will support and coordinate our outreach efforts. Please see below for more details. 

New mapping and outreach offices 

With the addition of a new regional outreach office in Atlanta (more on that shortly), we are reshaping the regions each office will serve. The changes, which will be effective upon the opening of the Atlanta office, are as follows:

  • Our Northeast Regional Outreach Office (located in Alexandria, VA) will serve outreach for Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. 
  • Our Midwest Elijah J. McCoy Regional Outreach Office in Detroit, Michigan will serve Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 
  • Our Southwest Regional Outreach Office located in Dallas, Texas will serve Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. 
  • Our Rocky Mountain Regional Outreach Office, located in Denver, Colorado will serve Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • Our Western Regional Outreach Office located in San Jose, California will serve California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii. 
Regional office map with pins

We are making progress on our plans to open a regional outreach office in Atlanta, Georgia to serve the southeast region of the United States, as well as the first community outreach office in Strafford County, New Hampshire, serving innovators and entrepreneurs in the northern New England region. Our new regional and community outreach offices will serve as extensions of the agency’s outreach operations by providing important resources and services directly to local inventors and entrepreneurs, including those from underserved areas or communities, and by collaborating with community organizations and local professional groups to enhance the reach of our IP awareness and education programs. Our regional outreach offices will continue to serve as hubs for education and outreach as well as playing a key role in employee engagement and connecting our national remote workforce to one another. Our new community outreach office will provide intensive support and resources in a narrow geographic region to boost innovation and entrepreneurship, especially to underserved communities.

Graphic with skylines of new offices in Atlanta and Strafford County, New Hampshire

The new regional outreach office in Atlanta, which will serve Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Tennessee, is expected to be fully opened and operational by December 2025. We are currently taking important steps to locate space and to hire the Regional Outreach Office Director. If you’re interested in the position, and the opportunity to serve and grow the nearly 24,000 patent owners and more than 160,000 trademark owners fueling local economies in the southeast region, apply by July 29.

We are also in the process of locating space for our Strafford County, New Hampshire office and have posted a job announcement for the leader of that office as well. To serve and grow the more than 10,000 patent owners and almost 30,000 trademark owners in New Hampshire and surrounding states, apply by July 22

New leadership of Midwest Elijah J. McCoy Regional Outreach Office

I am also excited that long-time USPTO executive Derris Banks was chosen to lead our Midwest Regional Outreach Office in Detroit. Derris officially began his new role on June 2 and is responsible for leading our outreach efforts in the Midwest area, serving IP owners and connecting more students, educators, inventors, small businesses, incubators, community colleges and four-year universities, and more with important resources.

Patent and Trademark Resource Centers and IP Champions

Our work to extend our IP resources in communities extends beyond our offices and into local libraries and schools. In addition to launching our IP Champions program, we have made a concerted effort to expand our network of our 90+ Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) and are growing them at rapid pace in libraries in communities around the country, quadrupling the PTRCs at HBCUs and adding PTRCs in states not previously served.

To better help aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs connect with key resources, we have updated our web resources and Locations page so those new to the innovation ecosystem can find USPTO-related services in their communities.

 Searchable map of all USPTO locations

Office of Public Engagement

To ensure our regional outreach offices, new community outreach office, and other outreach efforts are properly coordinated to provide lasting, sustainable change and carry out the mission in our recently released National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation and the National Entrepreneurship Strategy, we established a brand-new business unit focused on public engagement – the Office of Public Engagement (OPE). 

In addition to bringing together under one umbrella our regional and community outreach offices, we’ve also brought into OPE various outreach units formerly located in other business units, including our Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2), IP Champions, and PTRCs to strengthen the impact of our outreach across our country. 

As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by our Strategic Plan and input from you and those across the USPTO. And, don’t forget to visit our Events page or our Subscription Center to sign up to receive information on USPTO events at our headquarters and throughout the country. It will take all of us to make the American dream a reality for all. Join us!

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