Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) hailed the news that one of four new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office satellite locations will be located in San Jose, CA. The official decision is expected to be announced by the U.S. Commerce Department on Monday, July 2, 2012. A long time advocate to bring the patent office expansion to Silicon Valley and California, as recently as last week Rep. Lofgren publically pressed Patent Office officials to locate an office in San Jose.
"This is a big win for San Jose and California that will directly benefit the U.S. economy," Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said. "With more than a quarter of all America's patents originating in Silicon Valley, our community is the driving force of American innovation. Right now there is a backlog of 620,000 pending patents with as many as 500,000 new patents filed every year, so inventors can face a three year processing wait. That is unacceptable and a huge setback for new products and cutting edge technologies."
"By having a patent office in San Jose, enterprising startups and global technology leaders alike will benefit from direct access to services that currently are only available across the country in Washington," Congresswoman Lofgren said. "This means products can be brought from the drawing board to the marketplace faster and easier, creating a more direct path to economic growth and the job creation that comes from it."
The announcement comes after a concerted effort by Reps. Lofgren, Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) and Mike Honda (D-Campbell). A bipartisan coalition of California's Congressional Delegation, advocating broadly for an office in California, assisted in the effort. The Leadership Group helped rally the Silicon Valley business community in advocating that the Commerce Department locate a patent office in San Jose. The City of San Jose, along with San Jose State University, played key roles in coordinating the effort in the region.
The patent reform law signed into law by President Barack Obama in September 2011 required at least three new satellite patent office locations to be opened around the country by 2014 to process patent applications and to help inventors access services in their region. The four new offices expected to be announced will be built at no cost to the taxpayer because the Patent Office is funded directly through patent fees.