In 2011, Congress enacted the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act which authorized the first four regional offices of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Ultimately, the USPTO placed offices in Detroit, Dallas, Denver, and San Jose. The establishment of these offices moved the agency toward a new outreach model that meets Americans where they are and has yielded great economic and social benefits to both the USPTO and the communities that these offices serve.
The Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (UAIA), which was signed into law on December 29, 2022, further expands the outreach footprint of the USPTO. The full text of the legislation can be found at Public Law 117-103. The UAIA directs the USPTO to:
- Establish a Southeast Regional Office (SERO) within three years of enactment, and
- Establish a community outreach office in the northern New England region (the Northern New England Community Outreach Office – (NNECOO)) within five years of enactment.
The UAIA also authorizes the USPTO to establish at least three additional community outreach offices and to conduct a study to determine whether additional satellite (regional) offices are needed. Collectively, the new offices will further extend the USPTO’s outreach efforts, as well as place additional focus on reaching inventors and entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds. At this time, the USPTO is focusing its work on establishment of the SERO and NNECOO, and this page will be updated as additional phases of UAIA implementation are rolled out.
One June 6, 2023, USPTO issued a Request for Comments (RFC) in the Federal Register to solicit public input about potential sites and relevant comments on where the SERO and NNECOO should be located. The RFC is available in the reading room of the Federal Register. The RFC will close for comments on July 17, 2023. To be considered, comments must be submitted via the electronic response form. For all other comments or general inquiries, please email NewOffices@USPTO.gov.