Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank delivered remarks to a full house and participated in a panel discussion at San Jose State University on driving U.S. innovation to create jobs. 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. During the discussion, Blank noted some of the 22 ways the Department of Commerce is supporting and fostering American innovation.
In her opening remarks, Blank noted:
This past winter, our [US Patent and Trademark] Alexandria office had a special exhibit on the ground floor – 30 giant iPhones lined up side-by-side. Each one featured one of the many patents that Steve Jobs received. As Steve said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Today, those entrepreneurs, those innovators, and those dreamers – all of you – are the reason I’m so proud to say that the Commerce Department will soon put one of its first four satellite patent offices right here in Silicon Valley.
Today, thousands of inventors here and across the country continue to help lay the foundation for America’s long-term growth and leadership. The entrepreneurial spirit continues to thrive here in Silicon Valley. With your help, we have seen 28 straight months of private sector job growth – totaling 4.4 million jobs.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) plans to open a satellite office in the Silicon Valley area in an effort to help local businesses and entrepreneurs innovate quicker and grow faster. Acting Secretary Blank cited a recent Commerce Department report showed that industries that rely heavily on intellectual property protection support at least 40 million jobs – and about one-third of our GDP. That report showed that these jobs pay about 42 percent more than others. So a better patent system means good jobs and stronger economic security for millions of middle class families.
After the panel discussion, Acting Secretary Blank attended a lunch at TechShop. TechShop is a membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make. Blank spoke with local business leaders to discuss entrepreneurship, innovation and how the new patent satellite office could help to support job creation. She heard ideas about how the satellite office will meet local business needs, how the office will work with regional economic development groups focused on job creation, and whether their might be in interest tailoring the patent office’s services to meet the needs of startups, incubators and accelerators.
Blank will fly to Denver – another newly announced patent office location – and host another series of conversations with local businesses and officials about improving and continuing American innovation tomorrow.