California legislators and business leaders are lobbying for the state to serve as the newest location for a U.S. Trademark and Patent Office. The America Invents Act authorizes the creation of two new satellite patent offices, which are intended to alleviate the immense backlog on patent applications.
Although the offices are not slated to open for another three years, the competition among states is fierce. In addition to California, the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Hawaii are all vying to be the home of the newest USPTO offices.
“California is the epicenter of new ideas and research, with the laboratories and the universities,” Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, said in support of the state. “That’s where you want the patent office, where you can have the interaction.”
This week, Garamendi joined 46 other California House members and both of the state’s senators in a delegation letter urging Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos to “consider” locating one of the satellite offices in California.
After all, the lawmakers note, Californians lead the nation in patents. Last year, 30,080 patents went to California inventors, amounting to one-quarter of the nation’s total.
“I think it makes sense,” Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, said regarding California’s regional patent office proposal. “If you want to pick strawberries, you go to the strawberry field, right?”