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SOURCE The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
Patent Office Puts Colorado in the National Spotlight as an Innovation Hub
DENVER, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) opened its permanent satellite location in Denver. The new office is the second to open out of four satellite offices announced by the USPTO including those in Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Jose, Calif.
The offices are designed to foster American innovation in the global marketplace, while at the same time help speed up the patent process, which had a backlog of 700,000 applications before the U.S. recession hit in 2008.
A report created by leaders in the state estimates that Denver's satellite office will bring hundreds of direct jobs and even more indirect jobs, as well economic activity worth about $440 million over its first five years of operation.
"The new patent office will put Metro Denver and Colorado in the national spotlight as an innovation hub," said John Posthumus, an intellectual property (IP) attorney and shareholder at Denver-based law firm Sheridan Ross, who helped lead the effort to get a satellite office in Denver.
In addition to hiring up to 120 patent examiners in Metro Denver, the Denver satellite office will draw inventors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and IP attorneys to the region, and will further breed and expand Colorado's already enviable high-tech and innovation economy.
Nine patent trial and appeal board judges have been working in a temporary office in Metro Denver since last year and the USPTO has already started recruiting to hire its first team of 50 examiners to work in the new 45,000-square-foot office. The office is directed by Russell Slifer, former chief patent counsel at semiconductor multinational, Micron Technology.
To date, USPTO has focused on hiring examiners in the electrical and computer mechanical engineering areas and also anticipates hiring several more patent trial judges for the local office.
"This is a powerful development for our region's culture of thought and innovation," said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC). "Colorado ranks among the top states for entrepreneurial activity and the new satellite patent office will not only educate local and regional entrepreneurs about the patent process, but it also makes a strong statement that Metro Denver's companies and inventors are sophisticated when it comes to innovation in the business landscape."
A Region of Innovation
Colorado's U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet fought heavily to secure the facility in the state.
"Colorado's selection as a location for a satellite patent office is acknowledgment of our place as a center of innovation in this country," said Sen. Michael Bennet. "From snowboards, to turbo engines, to fingerling potatoes, our state's entrepreneurs continue to develop cutting-edge products that create jobs and fuel our economy. The new office located here in Denver will provide innovators across the state and the Rocky Mountain region improved access to the patent office resources."
Metro Denver region has one of the highest per capita rates of workers with science and technology degrees, has relatively low living costs, and offers a desirable location in which to recruit and retain the most talented workers so they can pursue a high quality of life. In fact, just last year Forbes ranked Metro Denver as a top-10 metro area for largest relocation of young workers 15-29 years old.
Home to four major public universities and 24 federal laboratories, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 600 bioscience companies, a rapidly growing high-tech industry, and the third-largest aerospace economy, companies in Colorado are primed for invention.
In fact, between 2007 and 2010, more than 20,000 Colorado inventors filed patent applications in industries including sustainable energy research and development, Internet entrepreneurship, premier biosciences, and advanced aerospace technologies.
Steve Katsaros, inventor and founder of Denver-based Nokero, which provides safe and environmentally friendly solar products in developing countries, is a prime example of a Colorado entrepreneur and believes the satellite patent office will aid in attracting more of the brightest and most talented inventors to our community.
"As the world becomes more connected, intellectual property rights are imperative to almost every business. This satellite office will make the community of Colorado patent and technology experts a more cohesive group fostering even more innovation in our region," Katsaros said.
Katsaros has patented each of Nokero's products, both in the U.S. and abroad, and continues to share the benefits of doing so with his network.
"The satellite office will help elevate regional discussions of IP rights and their importance to compete in a global economy," Katsaros said.
For more information on the Metro Denver EDC, visit www.metrodenver.org.
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