Thursday, March 3, 2011

U.S. Senate approves Bennet - Udall amendment for regional Patent Offices

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall secured a key change to the America Invents Act that empowers the Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to create three or more regional satellite offices across the country over the next 3 years.

The amendment would help create jobs and assist entrepreneurs, inventors and innovation by better connecting innovators to the USPTO; help the USPTO address recruitment and retention issues for patent examiners; and reduce the systemic backlog for patent applications. It would enhance the quality and efficiency of our patent system.

Earlier this year, Bennet and Udall sent President Obama a letter expressing their support for multiple satellite offices and calling for a new Western satellite office in Denver, which would provide a boost to industries already based in Colorado that are dependent on the patent process, as well as create patent examiner positions and other good paying jobs in Denver. The Senators have been advocating to the USPTO for over the past year on the merits of a regional satellite office in Denver.

The Bennet-Udall amendment also contains a requirement that the USPTO submit a report to Congress on the progress being made in establishing satellite offices; and whether the operation of existing satellites is achieving the goals of the program. There is no cost to this amendment according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

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