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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Opens First-Ever Satellite Office in Detroit, Michigan

Friday, July 13, 2012

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Blank and Patent Office Director Kappos Participated in Ribbon-Cutting for Facility to Help Speed Up Patent Process and Create Local Jobs

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos, along with elected officials, today participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Elijah J. McCoy USPTO in Detroit, Michigan – the first-ever Patent and Trademark Office outside of Washington, DC. The new office is the first to open out of four recently-announced USPTO satellite offices that 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 hundreds of highly-skilled jobs in each of the local communities.

“Patents are the fuel for American innovation,” Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said in her remarks. “By opening the doors to America’s first-ever satellite patent office in Detroit, we are going to put more patents in the hands of entrepreneurs throughout this region and across the country. The McCoy office will make America’s patent system stronger, empowering America’s innovators to attract capital, put their business plans into action, and create more good jobs for the middle class.”

While in Detroit, Acting Secretary Blank and Under Secretary Kappos also toured the new facility, met with Mayor Dave Bing, members of Michigan’s U.S. Congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Representatives John Dingell, John Conyers, Jr., Gary Peters, and Hansen Clarke, local businesses and entrepreneurs, and swore-in the office’s first seven USPTO Board Judges who will review patents and help speed up the patent process. In addition to the judges, approximately 25 patent examiners and other staff begin work on Monday, July 16.

“Today's expansion into Detroit fuels a new 21st-century innovation era for our country,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and USPTO Director David Kappos. "The USPTO's Elijah J. McCoy Office brings our nation's innovation agency to the doorsteps of Michigan's inventors and entrepreneurs, while also spurring new opportunity, growth, and jobs. That's what this Office represents and that's what the Motor City has always been about.”

The Detroit USPTO will create approximately 120 highly-skilled jobs in its first year of operations alone. The IP experts in the office will work closely with entrepreneurs and help further reduce the backlog of patent applications and appeals. Reducing the backlog of patents and simultaneously speeding up the process will allow businesses to move their innovation to market more quickly, saving critical time and resources.

Patents are vital for businesses to get funding to bring a product to market, and they are a major factor in private sector job creation. In fact, Commerce recently issued a report finding that IP-intensive industries are the source – directly or indirectly – of 40 million jobs, contributing $5.06 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2010. Not only will these offices help businesses grow and create jobs with far greater ease, but it also helps strengthen American competitiveness and build a more robust economy.

Selection of the four sites was based upon a comprehensive analysis of criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, potential ability to recruit and retain employees, ability to engage the intellectual property (IP) community, and extensive public comment. The Detroit area is home to Fortune 500 companies, large law firms, and outstanding research institutions, in addition to boasting a low cost of living and skilled talent pool.

The Detroit office building, listed on the National Historic Registry, is a 31,000 square foot space located at 300 River Place Drive in Detroit, Michigan. The USPTO is beginning site procurement activity for the three additional locations and is working to develop concept of operations based on the Detroit model over the coming months and years. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA), signed into law by President Obama in September, requires the USPTO to establish satellite locations as part of a larger effort to modernize the U.S. patent system by September 2014.

For additional background on the selection criteria and methodology, visit

For non-press inquiries pertaining to the satellite site selection, please contact USPTO Deputy Chief of Staff Azam Khan at azam.khan[at]uspto[dot]gov

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