While recent studies show that tech start-ups increasingly opt out of the historically burdensome patent process, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is finally taking action. Come 2014, Silicon Valley will get its own patent office.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the PTO announced Monday that one of four satellite bureaus will open in San Jose. As part of the recently-passed Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, regional bureaus also will open in Detroit, Dallas, and Denver. The Silicon Valley office should be a welcome addition for tech entrepreneurs who previously have felt too far away from the time-intensive process, San Jose Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren told the Chronicle.
“If you're a giant company, you've got the capacity to fly people to Washington," Lofgren said. "But if you're a start-up, it's a bigger burden."
With the PTO establishing a much-needed presence in the Valley, entrepreneurs will now be able to engage in the patent process more quickly.
“What it means is that after 225 years of U.S. history, patent examiners will start going to their customers rather than customers having to travel to Alexandria, Virginia,” Carl Guardino, CEO of The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, told the Chronicle.
With somewhere between 150 and 200 patent examiners slated to work at the San Jose office, the office expects to receive a large amount of patent and trademark applications from the area.
"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," acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said in the press release.