Los Altos Patch - U.S. Patent Office to Open Silicon Valley
February 4, 2014
In The News
By Bea Karnes
Silicon Valley generates more patent applications than anywhere else in the nation.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has selected San Jose City Hall as the permanent site of its planned satellite office in Silicon Valley, federal and city officials announced this week.
The local office will include space for 60 patent examiners and 20 Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges, an examiner training facility and public hearing rooms, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
People applying for patents will be able to have both in-person meetings and use teleconference equipment to hold virtual meetings with examiners, federal officials said.
The USPTO plans to use about 40,000 square feet of office space at City Hall.
San Jose is offering the federal agency two years of free rent and three years of discounted rent, USPTO officials said. As part of the deal, California Assembly Speaker John Perez's office is to provide the USPTO with up $500,000 toward opening the permanent San Jose location.
It will be the only regional patent office on the West Coast.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said at a news conference on Tuesday that the patent office will be located on the 14th floor of City Hall, which formerly housed staff of the city's Redevelopment Agency.
"We're pleased that this morning they decided that San Jose was the best location and they will be moving quickly to get an office open here," Reed said.
San Jose is an ideal location to house the patent office because of its high concentration of Silicon Valley technology companies and entrepreneurs, Reed said.
He thanked U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo and Mike Honda, as well as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Gov. Jerry Brown and Speaker Perez, for their help in convincing the commerce department to choose San Jose for the patent office.
A number of western states had jockeyed in recent years to be selected as the home for the new regional office.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an organization of Silicon Valley companies involved in local public policy, was an "indispensable partner" in the city's campaign to bring the office to San Jose, Reed said.
At Tuesday's news conference, Carl Guardino, the leadership group's chief executive officer, said that about one in four U.S. patents originate in California and about half of those are from companies located in Silicon Valley.
"This will be the West Coast hub for our patents and innovations," Guardino said.
Since April, the USPTO has run a temporary patent office in Menlo Park and will stay there until the permanent office in San Jose is ready in the end of 2014, agency officials said.