The last of the Regional Patent Offices is up and running. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Michelle Lee recently attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Texas Region Office of the USPTO.
The Texas Regional Office is the last of the satellite offices for the USPTO. Others are located in Detroit, Silicon Valley and Denver. The satellite offices were opened to help recruit talented patent examiners from around the country, help decrease the backlog of patent cases to be examined, and to establish offices of expertise.
The addition of four patent offices has decreased the average time to examination and to issue. In addition, the regional patent offices have enable the USPTO to hire patent examiners with the expertise needed to handle areas of advanced and cutting edge areas of technology. The regional patent offices also offer services to small businesses and entrepreneurs that will be offered to the communities in each of the regional areas.
A statement recently released by the USPTO describes the importance of the regional offices by recognizing that “it’s important to ensure the USPTO can engage effectively with communities, industries, and innovators. The USPTO’s regional offices play a crucial role in these efforts, assisting inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in their respective regions, while supporting the USPTO’s core mission of fostering American innovation and competitiveness.”
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