Washington–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and Mike Honda (D-San Jose) joined together today in celebrating the selection of San Jose’s City Hall building as the permanent location for the Silicon Valley satellite patent office. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) announcement comes after a search for a permanent office space was put on hold in July due to federal budget sequestration.
Senator Feinstein, a longtime advocate for a Silicon Valley satellite office, inserted language in a Senate appropriations bill this summer to jumpstart the process of opening the California location. Reps. Eshoo, Lofgren and Honda have been working diligently to find a solution as well, including introducing H.R. 2852, the Patents and Trademarks Encourage New Technology (PATENT) Jobs Act, to exempt USPTO from budget sequestration because the agency is funded through user fees, not taxpayer dollars.
“My thanks to Mayor Chuck Reed and the City of San Jose for agreeing to house a satellite patent office in their lovely City Hall rent-free for two years,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA). “Opening this office in the middle of Silicon Valley, the highest patent-producing area in the country, was the logical choice. The next step is for Congress to free up funds to continue operating this office. These funds—which are actually fees from patent filings—should not be held hostage by the sequester. I will continue my work on the Appropriations Committee to ensure these satellite patent offices receive funds necessary to remain open.”
“I welcome the announcement of a permanent home for the Silicon Valley satellite patent office. The importance of this office to our region cannot be understated,” said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18). “Silicon Valley is the innovation capital of our country, with Stanford and other top research institutions in our back yard, a highly skilled workforce developing the innovations of tomorrow, and the largest share of our nation’s patents. This permanent office will help thousands of innovators and entrepreneurs in our region take full advantage of our nation’s intellectual property system, and it’s why I’m exceedingly proud to have been part of the effort to make this a reality.”
“This patent office is about tapping and unleashing the kind of economic growth, job creation, and prosperity an innovation economy offers our entire country,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19). “That’s because California, and the Valley in particular, are innovation powerhouses that will soon benefit from the extraordinary effort that went into landing this new patent office. The Silicon Valley patent office will help our most promising start-ups with the services and resources they need to go from the drawing board to the marketplace faster, and in the process, grow their ventures and create good paying jobs.”
“It is great news that the U.S. Patent Office will be opening its long-planned Silicon Valley satellite branch in San Jose,” said Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17). “As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Commerce Department, I have worked for months with the committee chairman, Patent Office officials, and the South Bay delegation on a solution that will allow the innovation of our region to continue to thrive. Going forward, we will be redoubling our efforts to end the budget sequestration that threatens the USPTO and all fee-based agencies once and for all. My priorities in representing Silicon Valley will always remain in job growth and cultivating innovation.”
The announcement comes after a concerted, multi-year effort to locate one of four satellite offices in California. Through a collaborative effort announced today, the City of San Jose will provide approximately 40,000 square feet of permanent office space in City Hall without charge for two years and then at a reduced amount for the following three years. Additionally, John Perez, the California State Assembly Speaker, will offer the USPTO $500,000 for the agency to provide education and outreach efforts to accelerate momentum towards opening the permanent Silicon Valley office.