The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced one of its first-ever regional offices will be located in Dallas.
According to a July 2 USPTO news release, the new offices will be located in or around Dallas; Denver; and Silicon Valley, Calif. Those regional offices are in addition to the already-announced first USPTO satellite office scheduled to open July 13 in Detroit.
“Intellectual property protection and innovation are engines of economic growth and the bedrock of America’s private sector,” Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank noted in the press release. “The Obama administration is committed to making certain our businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow, create jobs and compete globally. These new offices are an historic step toward further advancing our world’s best IP system, and reinforcing the United States as the number one destination for innovation capital, and research and development around the world.”
Selection of the four sites was based upon a comprehensive analysis of criteria, including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, the ability to recruit and retain employees, and the ability to engage the intellectual property community, according to the release.
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA), signed into law by President Barack Obama last September, requires the USPTO to establish regional satellite locations as part of a larger effort to modernize the U.S. patent system over the next three years.
"The USPTO team plans to begin site procurement activity and establish a timeline for the three newly-announced locations in the coming months," the release notes.
A USPTO representative did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
The announcement is great news, says Steven Spears, partner-in-charge of the Houston office of McDermott Will & Emery.
Spears was a member of an ad hoc committee made up of Houston intellectual proprty lawyers that earlier this year applied to the USPTO to have a satellite office in the Space City. “I thought Texas had a good shot to get one between Dallas and Houston,” says Spears, noting that both cities met the USPTO's criteria for a regional office. “And I think Dallas is a great choice. But of course I thought Houston would have been a better choice.”
-- John Council