New USPTO Satellite Office Locations Announced

Posted Monday, July 2, 2012.

Today, the USPTO announced additional satellite locations to be opened in 2013. A first satellite office is already slated to open later this month in Detroit. The new offices, which many believe will open in 2013, are planned for Denver, Dallas and San Jose.

The patent office had previously solicited suggestions for new locations, and at that time I nominated Seattle or Bellevue. The Seattle/Bellevue region accounts for a significant number of new patent applications, and either city would seem like an excellent fit for a satellite patent office. Unfortunately, we didn’t get one here, but perhaps in the future the patent office will consider Seattle for a satellite office.

It is anticipated that the new offices will help the USPTO fulfill its staffing goals. The patent office is hiring new examiners to help cope with the backlog of pending applications. Among the benefits the patent office provides to examiners is a telework program, where examiners only need to be physically present in the office periodically and can work from home the rest of the time.

The new offices should permit the USPTO to hire from existing pools of technical experts in Dallas, Denver and San Jose. A new patent examiner working from home in Napa, for example, would only have to trek into the San Jose office once every couple of weeks. That’s a much more doable proposition than commuting out to Alexandria, VA.

For applicants and patent attorneys in Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue and other parts of our region, there might eventually be a slight benefit where a patent examiner happens to be in the same time zone. And in instances where an Examiner’s Interview would be better conducted in person between the patent attorney/agent and the examiner, the new offices may more easily facilitate such a meeting.

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