Today the Commerce Department announced that the United State Patent and Trademark Office will be opening three new satellite offices, to be located in or around San Jose, Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth. The main Patent and Trademark Office will remain in Alexandria, Virginia, inside the Washington DC Beltway. The USPTO’s first satellite office, approved two years ago and located in Detroit, will open July 13. The three newly announced satellite offices are expected to open in early 2013, according to non-USPTO sources.
Each satellite office is anticipated to employ over 100 patent examiners and administrative patent judges. Having a satellite office in the area will allow local patent attorneys to conduct examiner interviews and argue appeals more effectively and efficiently. With high-quality teleconferencing equipment located in each office, local practitioners will be able to conduct business more directly with the USPTO even when decision makers are located in another office. The USPTO will be seeking to identify and maximize the unique regional strengths of all four offices to further reduce the current backlog of patent applications and appeals.
Selection of the four sites was based upon a comprehensive analysis of criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, ability to recruit and retain employees, and the ability to engage the intellectual property community. In making the choice of site locations, USPTO officials met with hundreds of state and local officials, congressional delegations, and policy leaders. While California files about one-quarter of all patent applications and more than half of those are from Silicon Valley, the high cost of living in the area was a concern during the site selection process.
The USPTO plans to begin site procurement activity and establish a timeline for the newly-announced locations in the coming months.