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Patent Office To Open Detroit Branch In July

by Glenn Hess
January 23, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 4

After a lengthy delay, the Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) says it will open its first satellite office in Detroit in July. The new office is expected to create more than 100 jobs—mostly for patent examiners—in its first year and help the agency reduce its huge backlog of patent applications, which at last count stood at 671,409. This marks the first time in PTO’s 200-year history that it has established an office outside of its headquarters in Alexandria, Va. “We are expanding our operation outside of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area as part of our ongoing effort to recruit and train the nation’s top professionals,” says PTO Director David Kappos. Plans for the Detroit office were initially announced in December 2010, but they were put on hold because of federal budget cuts. The new patent office will be named after Michigan inventor Elijah J. McCoy, who secured more than 57 patents, including the automatic lubricator in July 1872 and other innovations for heavy-duty machinery. PTO says it plans to open at least two more satellite offices elsewhere in the U.S. in the next three years.


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