The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced that it plans to open a regional branch in the San Jose area. Satellite offices are also planned for Dallas and Denver, in addition to a recently-opened office in Detroit. The USPTO is notoriously backed up, and the new satellite offices are part of a plan to streamline patent and trademark applications and spur American innovation. The four cities chosen for the regional offices were selected out of 600 US cities because of their diversity, regional economic impact and intellectual property contributions.

San Jose was selected as the site of one of the new satellite offices because of its leading role in technology and biotech innovation. In 2010, California accounted for 26% of all US patents and Silicon Valley alone received 12% of all US patents (or 10,000 patent filings). Nearby cities added to that total, too, with another 6,290 patent applications from San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont. The USPTO plans to open the Silicon Valley office by 2014. (Update: The USPTO Silicon Valley branch is now scheduled to open in 2015.) Learn more about how to file a patent here.

- Claire Kalia

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