September 22, 2023

by Dennis Crouch

The USPTO started establishing satellite tv for pc workplaces a decade in the past to broaden past the standard Alexandria (Washington DC) headquarters.  We now have workplaces in Detroit, Dallas, Denver, and San Jose. Final 12 months, Congress voted to additional broaden the decentralization by at the very least another. The Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (UAIA) mandates creation of a Southeast Regional Workplace (SERO).  The USPTO is now looking for feedback on the place the workplace must be positioned — and the methodology it ought to use in choosing a location.  [Fed Reg].

The statute requires that it’s positioned in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Arkansas.  I’d routinely rule-out Virginia and North Carolina as too near the PTO HQ; and in addition rule-out Arkansas as too near the Dallas Workplace.  In my thoughts, I rapidly narrowed issues all the way down to 4 potential cities: Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, and Nashville.

In my feedback to the PTO, I shall be together with the outcomes of this ballot: LinkedIn Poll.  Voting is open for a couple of extra days.  Atlanta is at the moment within the lead.

The core goal right here is to is to ship higher providers to residents and inventors within the area; be extra aware of their wants; and drive optimistic modifications in these areas.  Concurrently, the Group Outreach Workplace goals to supply a platform for dialogue, bridging the hole between residents and the federal government. The statute units out 5 specific issues:

  1. Strengthen connections between the Workplace and patent filers by means of enhanced outreach to a broad spectrum of innovators together with underrepresented, rural, low-income, and pupil populations.
  2. Enhance retention of various patent examiners and judges, bearing in mind financial, geographic, and demographic elements.
  3. Improve the recruitment course of to draw extra high-quality patent examiners.
  4. Cut back the backlog of pending patent functions.
  5. Elevate the requirements of patent examination to make sure higher accuracy and high quality.

Along with the brand new Southeast Regional Workplace, the PTO has additionally been tasked with opening a “Northern New England Group Outreach Workplace (NNECOO)” and the PTO is looking for feedback on its location as nicely.  The USPTO shall be even be conducting a research to determine whether or not extra regional workplaces would profit US innovation.