Thursday, December 16, 2010

*** USPTO Announces First Satellite Office In Detroit ***

"Take him to . . . Detroit!"
- Dr. Klahn, Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today that the USPTO will be opening a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan.  Detroit is the first of (hopefully) a larger number of satellite offices planned for the agency, and is initially slated to house 100 examiners, plus a smaller number of support and administration personnel. Detroit beat out more than a dozen other cities across the nation to get the satellite office - congratulations!

While a specific site has not been selected yet, Commerce Department officials expect to sign a lease as soon as February, with hiring to begin in the spring.  As residents of the area know very well (I was born and raised there), it would be shocking if the agency selects a location in the city itself (God forbid).  Likely candidates would be locations in the northern suburbs (Troy, Rochester), or possibly on the west side, near the airport. 

Why Detroit?  Because of research and development done by the auto industry, Michigan has more applicants than most other states (see here for the USPTO statistics).  Also, real estate prices are dirt cheap - the home value index of Detroit properties are almost half that of properties in, say, New Orleans or Des Moines, Iowa.

Most of the hiring for the office will be done from the Detroit area and that announcements for vacancies should be posted on the agency’s website -- – and on the federal government’s employment site - – in early spring.

See Detroit Free Press: "Eureka! Patent Office picks Detroit" (link)

See also Gene Quinn at the IP Watchdog: "Detroit, Michigan Announced as First Regional Patent Office"

4 Comentários:

Anonymous said...

Michigan only had 3000 applications in 2009, compared to 20,000 out of California, and 4000 out of Washington state. I don't think that you can justify Detroit on the basis of the level of patenting activity. It's also in the Eastern time zone, which I think is a strike against it.

If you were looking on the basis of functionality, you'd have to put the office somewhere on the West Coast, California, Oregon, or Washington. But of course that's not what this was about.

MaxDrei said...

Why is Eastern Time Zone a "strike against"? If Detroit proves the satellite concept, then a CA branch office might come next. However, in the early days, the satellite should be in the same time zone as the mother ship, no, so that child can talk to mother?

EPO branch offices in Berlin and The Hague (Holland) are busy, convening more and more of the "oral proceedings" that used to be the exclusive preserve of Munich. This, of course, peeves the 50% of European patent attorneys who have their practice in Munich.

patent litigation said...

While I understand at least some of the reasons for the choice of locale, I had hoped that the USPTO would open its first satellite patent law office in a location that I might actually want to visit or live -- Southern California, for instance. However, hopefully the USPTO's selection of Detroit will help improve that city's economy, in addition to increasing efficiency at the USPTO and taking a bite out of its infamous backlog.

Anonymous said...

If one of the primary complaints about the USPTO's ability to recruit into the DC metro area is the high cost of living, then why on Earth would you place a satellite office in California, much less Southern California?

Most cost of living calculators approach a 2:1 ratio between Los Angeles and Detroit and 1.1:1 ratio between Los Angeles and Washington DC. The difference in value between a GS-5 or -7 in Detroit and one in SoCal makes up for quite a bit of sunshine.

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