The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently provided a status update on the agency’s satellite offices in Silicon Valley, Dallas and Denver. The plans to expand the USPTO’s office locations have been slowed due to recent budgets cuts related to the sequestration.
According to Acting Director of the USPTO, Teresa Stanek Rea, “Our efforts to move into permanent spaces for those three locations will be delayed, but continuing to operate from the temporary spaces and striving to grow our presence in the satellite office locations remains a top agency priority.”
While Rea indicated that although the GSA’s solicitation process for permanent space in Silicon Valley is now on hold, ongoing activities at the temporary office will continue, including:
- Participating in the USPTO’s newly formed Software Partnership, which will contribute to President Obama’s White House initiative to curtail abusive patent litigation;
- Hosting local training programs on AIA topics such as the new first-inventor-to-file rules and PTAB proceedings;
- Planning additional STEM workshops to train K-12 teachers in the local school districts on innovation, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property; and
- Building relationships with local innovators, officials, industries, intellectual property bar associations, incubators, venture capitalists, and universities.
Legislation has been introduced to save the USPTO from sequestration cuts. The sponsors of the Patents And Trademarks Encourage New Technology (PATENT) Jobs Act, all of whom hail from the Silicon Valley area, argue that the USPTO should be exempt because it is funded entirely by fees paid to the agency by those seeking patents.