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USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office to be located at the San Jose City Hall building

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced on November 19, 2013 that the San Jose City Hall building, located at 200 East Santa Clara Street, has been selected as the permanent location for the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office. The USPTO will move forward with occupying permanent space in Silicon Valley by the end of 2014.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker outlined her “Open for Business Agenda.” Promoting American innovation is a core priority of the Agenda, as technology and innovation is the key driver of U.S. competitiveness, wage and job growth, and long term economic growth. The selection of a permanent USPTO office in the Silicon Valley is a key part of the Commerce Department and Obama administration’s efforts to boosting America’s innovation economy.

“A permanent USPTO office in Silicon Valley will help grow the regional innovation ecosystem by empowering entrepreneurs to more readily navigate the nation’s intellectual property system,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The USPTO plays a crucial role in helping protect the cutting-edge ideas that drive our economy and keep the U.S. globally competitive. The permanent satellite offices help advance the Commerce Department’s innovation agenda by helping entrepreneurs get their products to market more quickly, provide resources tailored to the needs of local start-ups, and create good paying, high-skilled jobs.”

A permanent West Coast office will enable the USPTO to help more entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property so they can attract capital, put their business plans into action, and help create more jobs. The San Jose City Hall location provides office space for patent examiners and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges, a robust examiner training facility, and public hearing rooms for PTAB proceedings, including its trial proceedings, which clarify the quality and certainty of a patent right and serve as a low-cost and efficient alternative to litigation in the federal court system.

Since April 2013, the USPTO has been operating out of temporary office space in Menlo Park secured via the General Services Administration (GSA). Until the new San Jose City Hall space is ready, Silicon Valley Office Director Michelle Lee and nine PTAB judges will continue working from that location. The USPTO aims to staff the permanent office with at least 60 patent examiner hires and approximately 20 PTAB judges in its first year of operation.