Colorado Business Leaders Unveil New Report Making the Case for Patent Office in Denver

Travel to Washington to Submit Package to USPTO

Report Finds Satellite Office in Denver Could Lead to Nearly $440 Million of Economic Activity

Follows Bennet-Udall Amendment for Additional Satellite Patent Offices and Bennet’s Request for Letters of Support from Coloradans

Colorado business leaders, joined by staff from Colorado Senator Michael Bennet’s office, have traveled to Washington to hand-deliver a package of support from Coloradans urging the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to select Colorado as the location for a new satellite patent office. The report has been unveiled today.   

The package, “Accelerating Innovation: The Case for a Satellite Patent Office in Colorado,” is in response to the USPTO’s request for comment regarding sites for a satellite office. In December, Bennet began calling on Coloradans to send letters of support for a Denver-area satellite patent office. The comment period ended yesterday.

“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,” said Bennet. “It’s great to see Coloradans coalesce in support of bringing a patent office to the state. They have made their voices heard as the USPTO prepares to select new locations. I hope the widespread support, along with the unique and beneficial attributes of Colorado and Coloradans, will convince the USPTO that we offer the best location for a new satellite office.”

John R. Posthumus of Sheridan Ross PC in Denver, Thomas D. Franklin of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in Denver and Monisha Merchant, Bennet’s senior advisor for business affairs, presented the package on Friday at the USPTO.

Posthumus and Bennet’s office coordinated efforts and work closely with the Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation to put the package together with assistance from the governor’s office and the Denver mayor’s office.

An economic impact study in the package estimates that a satellite office in Denver would bring hundreds of direct jobs and even more indirect jobs, as well as lead to economic activity totaling $439 million over the first five years of operation.

“A satellite patent office in the metro Denver region would mean hundreds of new jobs and a significant economic impact for the state as a whole – both directly and with indirect economic activity,” said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. “With our innovation sector and high-tech workforce, Colorado would also be a great fit for a new patent office. We look forward to continuing to work with the Colorado delegation and the Coalition for a Colorado Satellite Patent Office to make that a reality.”

“A satellite patent office in Colorado would help our bioscience sector get patents approved more efficiently and help bring life-saving technology and medicines to patients more quickly and safely,” said Holli Reibel, president and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association. “It’s great to see a coordinated, comprehensive effort among stakeholders to bring a satellite patent office to Colorado.”

The package includes economic data, demographic information, workforce statistics and educational information that explains why Colorado is the best fit for a satellite patent office. It also includes a letter from the entire Colorado Congressional delegation, as well as more than 50 support letters from Colorado business leaders, universities, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and local elected officials and a resolution of support that passed in the Colorado State Senate and State House with broad bipartisan support. To read the full package, click here.

This is Bennet’s latest effort to push for a Denver satellite office. Last year, he secured an amendment, cosponsored by Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall, in the patent reform law that empowers the USPTO to establish three new satellite patent offices across the country over the next three years.

Over the past year, Bennet, Udall and the Colorado Delegation have sent letters to President Obama and USPTO Director David Kappos encouraging them to consider Colorado for a job-creating satellite office.

Full text of the Colorado Congressional delegation letter from the package is included below.

Dear Director Kappos:

We are writing in response to the Federal Register Notice for a Request for Comments on Additional USPTO Satellite Offices for the Nationwide Workforce Program (Docket No. PTO-C-2011-0066). We would like to once again formally express our unanimous support for a satellite office in Colorado.

As you are well aware, we support USPTO efforts to establish new satellite offices in strategically placed locations that can provide a meaningful boost to our economy. Regional offices can help connect inventors with patent examiners, and enhance the USPTO’s ability to recruit and retain qualified examiners. This is why the Colorado Congressional delegation was instrumental in pushing a provision in the America Invents Act authorizing the creation of three satellite offices that builds upon the Office’s work to establish an initial satellite office in Detroit.

Our state is a prime location for a new satellite office. Colorado’s Front Range possesses a successful public-private entrepreneurship corridor all within a two-hour drive from the capital city of Denver. The corridor is highlighted by major research universities and federal laboratories that allow for collaboration with private companies unmatched anywhere else in the country.

Colorado’s central location will enhance customer service at USPTO. The state’s location in the Rocky Mountain West offers a number of strategic advantages. An office in Colorado would lower the cost of doing business with USPTO for firms and inventors. Denver International Airport offers over 600 daily non-stop flights, allowing for day trips for investors, executives, and applicants in the region to support the patent review process. Additionally, the Mountain Time Zone enables better communication with entities in the European Union, Asia, and across the United States.

As we have mentioned in previous correspondence, Colorado offers an affordable cost of living to help recruit and retain patent examiners. Colorado cities in the Denver-metro area are consistently listed in the “Best Places to Live” ranking by numerous outlets. This has helped our state attract professionals in high-tech and innovation-based industries who want to live in Colorado for the long term.

Finally, a USPTO satellite office in Colorado would have a significant long-term economic impact on our state. It would keep more companies in Colorado when they are acquired by national and international firms. It would also help stabilize the real estate industry that has been hard hit by the economic recession. A satellite office would spur opportunities for a diverse, highly qualified and educated population to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. And again, the state’s central location would allow for convenient outreach to educate innovators across the West, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain regions.

We urge the USPTO to consider Colorado for a satellite office. We strongly believe that a Colorado satellite office would offer countless benefits to the USPTO, inventors, executives, and investors.