New Silicon Valley Patent Office a Bigger Deal Than It Might Seem

The US government made it official July 2—the Silicon Valley will be home to one of four new satellite patent offices.

A strong bipartisan lobbying campaign has been underway for more than one year by California’s congressional delegation, state lawmakers, Gov. Jerry Brown and, in particular, Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom, to woo the Patent Office into establishing a regional presence somewhere in the Golden State.

Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, would have liked the location of the new office a bit further north but was nonetheless pleased with the outcome.

“Bringing a satellite office to California close to our multitude of innovations and inventors is good for business and will further California’s worldwide reputation as a hub of technological innovation,” Newsom said. 

The new Silicon Valley office – others will be located in Denver and Dallas and Detroit — may employ 200 or more persons but its siting in the region has a hefty symbolic impact.

“It’s a testament to our entrepreneurs and innovators – and the many dual patents we have with our Asia Pacific business partners,’ said Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a key lobbyist for the new San Jose-centeredpatent office. “Being closer to their customers means they can serve them better, get to know their culture, and be able to serve them faster and more effectively.”

If the decision on where to open satellite offices was based solely on volume, it’s easy to see how California won.

?In 2010, California received over 30,000 patents, 25 percent of the total patents issued in the United States. The next closest state was New York with 8,095.

?Of the 2.3 million patents of United States origin, California holds 446,523, nearly 20 percent of the total.

?San Jose and San Francisco ranked first and second nationally in 2009 for their level of patenting activity generating 250 patents per 1,000 employees and 100 patents per 1,000 employees, respectively.

Said David Kappos, director of the patent office, in a press release:

“By expanding our operation outside of the Washington metropolitan area for the first time in our agency’s 200-plus year history, we are taking unprecedented steps to recruit a diverse range of talented technical experts, creating new opportunities across the American workforce.”


Filed under: Budget and Economy

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