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Acting Secretary Blank Travels to Denver to Highlight Innovation and Newly-Announced Patent and Trademark Office

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank was in Denver, Colo. today to discuss ways to support innovation and create jobs, particularly through the protection of intellectual property. In the morning, Blank attended a breakfast hosted by the Colorado Innovation Network, where she spoke with local business leaders. She listened to their ideas and suggestions for how Commerce can better support them in their efforts to create jobs by encouraging innovation.

Later this morning, the Acting Secretary delivered remarks and participated in a panel discussion on the key role that the patent system plays in strengthening the local economy and driving U.S. competitiveness at the University of Colorado-Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. Also joining the panel were: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David 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. During the discussion, Blank noted some of the ways the Department of Commerce is supporting and fostering American innovation.

As Blank mentioned in her remarks, over the years there have been millions of groundbreaking U.S. patents for new inventions and discoveries that have changed the world. For each of the past two years, USPTO has issued over 200,000 patents–more than ever before. 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.

Acting Secretary Blank’s visit follows an announcement last week that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) plans to open a satellite office in the Denver area in an effort to help local businesses and entrepreneurs innovate and grow. The USPTO also plans to open satellite offices in the Silicon Valley, California, and Dallas, Texas, areas, in addition to the previously-announced office opening in Detroit, Michigan.

The four USPTO satellite offices will function as hubs of innovation and creativity, helping protect and foster American innovation in the global marketplace, helping businesses cut through red tape, and creating new economic opportunities in each of the local communities. The Obama Administration is committed to making certain our businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow, create jobs and compete globally.

Tomorrow, Acting Secretary Blank will participate in the ribbon cutting at the grand opening of the first-ever satellite USPTO satellite office in Detroit, Mich.

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