Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced  that the San Jose City Hall building will be the permanent location for the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office, and is scheduled to open by the end of 2014.
The selection of a permanent USPTO office in the Silicon Valley is a key part of the Commerce Department and Obama administration’s efforts to strengthen American innovation. As a driver of U.S. competitiveness and job growth, promoting and strengthening innovation is a major priority in U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s “Open for Business Agenda,” which was launched  last week.
The USPTO plays a vital role in helping protect cutting-edge, American ideas that drive our economy and keep the U.S. globally competitive. The satellite offices specifically advance the Department’s innovation agenda by helping entrepreneurs get their products to market more quickly, provide tailored resources to local start-ups and industries, and create good paying, high-skilled jobs.
USPTO Silicon Valley Satellite Office Director Michelle Lee and nine Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges have been operating out of temporary office space in the region since April 2013. The USPTO aims to hire at least 60 patent examiners and 20 PTAB judges within the first year of the new office’s operation.
The new West Coast office will enable the USPTO to help more entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property so they can attract capital, put their business plans into action, and help create more jobs. It will also provide space for small businesses, entrepreneurs and the public with access to resources that will help improve the quality and efficiency of patent examination. Further, Michelle Lee and her team have been actively engaged in significant community education, outreach and public input solicitations, and will continue those efforts in order to develop policies, programs and procedures that best meet the needs of the region.
The search for permanent office space was put on hold in July 2013 due to sequestration. Generous support and assistance from the City of San Jose, the California State Assembly’s Speaker’s Office, along with the collective support for the satellite office championed by members of the California congressional delegation, will enable the USPTO to move forward with occupying permanent space.