Colorado in running for U.S. patent satellite office

Colorado in running for U.S. patent satellite office

Jan. 31, 2012


By Allison Sherry
The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — Brandishing brochures showing people jogging in Stapleton, mountain biking in Boulder and skiing on fresh powder in the high country, a cabal of lawyers, politicians and scientists is making a full-throated beg to the federal government to put a U.S. patent satellite office in Colorado.

They are promising that Colorado workers are less mobile than average, are way more educated than average and have a higher quality of life than just about anywhere else in the country.

They tout a large and efficient airport and lots of high-speed Internet connections. They say the state’s universities are churning out engineering majors (2,452 last year). And they say Colorado is such a central locale in the Lower 48 that everyone would benefit.

A new U.S. Patent and Trade Office in Colorado would generate $430 million annually in revenue, according to an application submitted Monday and shared with The Denver Post.

“I love Colorado, and I want to give back to the state, and I think this would have such a beneficial impact to the state,” said John Posthumus, a Denver patent attorney who has spent three years flying back and forth to Washington, using his own money, for the effort. “It would be an enormous honor to have it in Denver and something that would put us on the radar in terms of a national and international perspective.”

Denver already lost out to Detroit for a new satellite patent office a little more than a year ago.

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, has been leaning on “any and every person I know” in Washington to lobby for Colorado’s case this time. A decision should be reached this year. All nine members of the delegation support it.

Bennet’s staffers have worked channels all over Washington to try to make this a reality. By the end of the day Monday, his office had submitted 50 letters from Colorado CEOs, law firms and business leaders in support of the application.

A new patent office could create almost 1,000 high-paying jobs, both directly and indirectly, according to an economic-impact study.

Also in the running are New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California and Washington. A decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on where the next satellite location will be is expected this year.

Holli Riebel, president of the Colorado BioScience Association, helped marshal signatures and support within her field for the office.

“Many times, things go to the coasts and they don’t go to the middle of the country,” she said. “I think there’s a huge market that could be drawn from the middle. It’s an easy place for everyone to get to, and we do have an international airport.”

Allison Sherry: 202-662-8907, asherry@denverpost.comor

Read more: Colorado in running for U.S. patent satellite office – The Denver Post
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