Bennet, Udall Continue Push for New Regional Patent Office in Denver

Bennet-Udall Amendment in New Patent Reform Law Allows Satellite Patent Offices Office Would Help Boost Colorado's Economy, Create Jobs and Encourage Innovation

Washington, DC – On the heels of President Obama signing the America Invents Act into law, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall today renewed their push for a satellite Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in Denver to help boost Colorado’s economy by creating jobs and encouraging innovation.

In a letter to David Kappos, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Bennet and Udall followed up on an amendment they secured in a new law that empowers the USPTO director to create three or more regional satellite offices across the country over the next three years. The Colorado senators urged Kappos to locate one of those satellite PTOs in Denver.

“Locating in Colorado will put the USPTO at the center of one of the country’s most vibrant clusters of innovation, technological development, and economic growth,” the Senators wrote in the letter. Our state is a national leader in innovation-based industries and is heavily dependent on the approval of new patents for growth.”

Bennet and Udall also highlighted Colorado for its qualified candidates for patent examiners, as well as for its high quality of life.

“Opening an office in Colorado will enhance the ability of the USPTO to recruit and hire from a pool of the most-qualified candidates our country has to offer,” the Senators wrote in the letter. “Colorado is home to a great number of technology workers that would be excellent long-term patent examiners. Locating a satellite office in Colorado would also allow the USPTO to improve its ability to retain its most valuable employees.” 

For more information on the America Invents Act, which President Obama signed into law Friday, and the amendment to create satellite patent offices, click here.

Full text of the letter is included below.

Dear Director Kappos:

We write to encourage the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to select Colorado for the location of the first of the new satellite offices authorized in the recently enacted America Invents Act.

During the debate over the America Invents Act, our offices led an effort to include an amendment that establishes three new regional satellite offices for the USPTO. We believe that multiple offices across the country will better connect inventors with patent examiners and improve the ability of the USPTO to recruit and retain qualified examiners. Our amendment was intended to build on your work establishing an initial satellite office in Detroit, which provides a strong foundation for the USPTO to expand its footprint in innovation centers across the country.

Locating in Colorado will put the USPTO at the center of one of the country’s most vibrant clusters of innovation, technological development, and economic growth. Our state is a national leader in innovation-based industries and is heavily dependent on the approval of new patents for growth.  Colorado has the 3rd largest aerospace industry in the country, the 6th largest medical device industry and is a national hub for the clean energy industry. Colorado ranks in the top five in new businesses created, 2nd in SBIR grants and 3rd in venture capital investments per $1,000 in gross state product. Our state is home to nationally recognized universities and national laboratories with a proven track record of successfully transferring new technologies to the commercial sector. Colorado’s physical location will provide the USPTO a gateway to the western states, allowing the office closer contact with emerging high-tech industries in Colorado and the surrounding region.  The Colorado business community also has highlighted the importance of a local patent office in fostering this growth.    

Opening an office in Colorado will enhance the ability of the USPTO to recruit and hire from a pool of the most-qualified candidates our country has to offer. Colorado is home to a great number of technology workers that would be excellent long-term patent examiners. The technology workforce in Colorado is consistently ranked in the top-10 in the U.S. in many important categories.  According to a report by Pew Research, Colorado is ranked: (i) 3rd for percent of workers with a bachelor’s degree or more; (ii) 5th for number of workers with science and engineering degrees per capita; (iii) 5th for number of scientists and engineers as a percent of the labor force; and (iv) 2nd for number of patents per 1,000 workers.  Additionally, other federal agencies have found Colorado to be a great place to locate an office.  Outside of the Washington metropolitan area, Denver has the highest number of federal employees per capita.

Locating a satellite office in Colorado would also allow the USPTO to improve its ability to retain its most valuable employees.  Money Magazine recently rated three Denver suburbs in the top 20 in its Best Places to Live rankings. Louisville, which is conveniently located between Denver and Boulder, garnered the top spot and was joined by Castle Rock and Superior, which tout attractive business communities in the region. Colorado is also well known for its reasonable cost of living, particularly when compared to cities located on the East and West Coasts.  Lastly, Colorado is centrally located and easily accessible to the entire country. Colorado’s location in the middle of the country provides convenient access to the USPTO for technology centers in the West, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain regions. With over 300 days of sun every year, a mild climate, and a culturally-diverse population, Denver is considered one of the most attractive cities to live in the United States.

We urge the USPTO to consider Colorado for its second satellite office.  We believe that such an office would promote innovation and ensure that the USPTO is able to retain and recruit a high quality workforce. 

We look forward to meeting at the appropriate time to explore locating a satellite office in our state and discussing other ways to support reform in the USPTO.