Press Releases

Washington—The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that the Patent and Trademark Office will open a satellite office in San Jose, the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.

Six of the top 10 patent-producing cities in the country are located in or near Silicon Valley, including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Fremont and Cupertino. San Jose, the top patent-producing city, was responsible for more than twice as many patents in 2011 as the runner-up, Austin, Texas. San Jose had 6,298 patents issued to Austin’s 2,819.

“The Silicon Valley region is home to more than 100 universities and colleges, and a staggering 27% of the country’s venture capital investment is located here,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “Silicon Valley is a tremendous engine for job growth in California and for innovation around the world. Locating a patent office in Silicon Valley will be a great aid to our dynamic businesses and universities and will help speed innovative products to market. It will benefit not only Silicon Valley's thriving information technology sector but also the state’s leading life sciences sector as well as other businesses and research institutions throughout California.”

The Silicon Valley location is one of four satellite offices that will open soon. The others are located in Dallas, Denver and Detroit. The satellite offices will help businesses cut through red tape and assist in creating new economic opportunities in their communities.

“Intellectual property protection and innovation are engines of economic growth and the bedrock of America’s private sector,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “These new offices are an historic step toward further advancing our world’s best IP system, and reinforcing the United States as the number one destination for innovation capital, and research and development around the world.”

A recent Commerce Department report found that industries with intensive intellectual property components account for 40 million jobs and contributed more than $5 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2010.

Selection of the Silicon Valley site was based on an analysis of criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, ability to recruit and retain employees and the ability to engage the intellectual property community. The regional offices were part of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 that was signed into law by President Obama in September 2011.