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Readout of Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank’s Trip to Three U.S. Cities to Highlight Role of Innovation in American Job Creation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 13, 2012
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

This week, Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca blank traveled to three U.S. cities to highlight the role of innovation in the creation of American jobs. The visits to San Jose, California; Denver, Colorado; and Detroit, Michigan, follow last week’s announcement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) plans to open satellite offices in the Silicon Valley, California; Dallas, Texas; and Denver, Colorado, areas, in addition to the first-ever satellite office outside Washington, DC, which opened in Detroit, Michigan, today. The satellite offices are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to ensure that American businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow, create jobs and compete globally.

On Wednesday, July 11, Acting Secretary Blank began her trip in San Jose, California, by participating in a panel discussion on driving U.S. competitiveness to create American jobs at San Jose State University. The panel was moderated by Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Blank was joined by Dr. Pat Kennedy, CEO of OSISoft, Eric Kelly, President and CEO of Overland Storage and Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi, President of San Jose State University. The Acting Secretary delivered remarks, citing a recent Commerce Department report showing that industries that rely heavily on intellectual property protection support at least 40 million jobs. The report also showed that IP-intensive jobs pay about 42 percent more than others ─ showing that securing a better patent system means good jobs and stronger economic security for millions of middle class families. 

‪While in San Jose, Acting Secretary Blank also attended a lunch at TechShop, a membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people working to expand American innovation. Blank spoke with local business leaders to discuss entrepreneurship, ways to develop ideas and how the new patent satellite office could help to support job creation.

‪On Thursday, July 12, Acting Secretary Blank traveled to Denver, Colorado, where she attended a breakfast hosted by the Colorado Innovation Network, to speak with local business leaders and listen to their ideas about how Commerce can help them create jobs by encouraging innovation. The Acting Secretary also delivered remarks and participated in a panel discussion at the University of Colorado-Denver Anschutz Medical Campus on the key role that the patent system plays in strengthening the local economy and driving U.S. competitiveness. Also joining the panel were: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director Kappos,; University of Colorado-Denver Chancellor Donald Don M. Elliman Jr.; Robb Walt, co-founder of the Community Power Corporation; and Ali Ansary, co-founder of SeventyK.

‪This morning, Acting Secretary Blank delivered remarks at a Travel and Tourism Advisory Board Meeting in Dearborn, MI, where she announced that international visitors spent an estimated $13.9 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States in May 2012—$1 billion, or 8 percent, more than was spent in May 2011. Blank was joined by federal agency partners for the meeting with Board members to discuss the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to increase travel and tourism to the U.S.

Acting Secretary Blank wrapped up her trip in Detroit, Michigan today by participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially launch the Elijah J. McCoy USPTO Satellite Office, along with USPTO Director Kappos, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Representatives John Dingell, John Conyers, Jr., Gary Peters, and Hansen Clarke, and local businesses and entrepreneurs. During the ceremony, Acting Secretary Blank swore in the office’s first seven USPTO Board Judges who will review patents and help speed up the patent process. The Detroit USPTO satellite office will create approximately 120 highly-skilled jobs in its first year of operations.

Selection of the four USPTO satellite office sites was based upon a comprehensive analysis of criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, potential ability to recruit and retain employees, ability to engage the intellectual property (IP) community, and extensive public comment. Not only will these offices help businesses grow and create jobs with far greater ease, but it also helps strengthen American competitiveness and build a more robust economy.