Patent judges begin work in new Denver office today


Mar 4, 2013, 2:15pm MST

Heather Draper

Reporter- Denver Business Journal

The first three administrative patent judges assigned to the new U.S. Patent and Trademark (USPTO) office in Colorado began their first day on the job Monday, according to a new release from the office of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet., D-Colorado.

The judges — Gregg I. Anderson, Irvin E. “Gene” Branch and Patrick M. Boucher — will work out of a temporary space at the Denver Federal Center at West 6th Avenue and Kipling streets in Lakewood until renovations at the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building in Denver are completed.

“This is a milestone moment for everyone in the state who fought to bring a satellite patent office to Colorado,” Bennet said in the release. “It’s the beginning of more jobs and increased economic development for the state. These judges will provide easier access for applicants and inventors in our region while helping Colorado’s innovative and entrepreneurial companies maintain our state’s reputation as a hotbed for cutting-edge industries.”

The USPTO announced in July 2012 that Denver was one of the three metro areas to be awarded a satellite branch of the USPTO — a long-sought victory for the area that could mean an estimated $439 million in economic impact in five years.

Landing the office has been a major goal of the city’s business and economic-development leaders for years as a boost to Colorado’s bioscience, aerospace and alternative-energy industries, and as a source of high-paying jobs.

“It’s exciting and rewarding to know that after years of a very thorough and collaborative effort by our public and private leaders across Colorado, we are officially starting the process that we know will put our entire Rocky Mountain region at the forefront of innovation and opportunity for decades to come,” said John Posthumus, an IP attorney with Sheridan Ross PC who played a key role in securing the patent office in Colorado. “With boots on the ground, we begin the transformation from our collective vision to implementation as we help drive our economy and enhance our reputation as business and technology leaders.”

The new satellite offices are being created under an amendment to the American Invents Act passed in 2011, which is meant to streamline the overburdened patent system, which has remained virtually unchanged since the early 1950s. The bill’s backers were seeking faster turnaround on patent applications to spur innovation and new jobs in the United States.

Heather Draper covers banking, finance, law and the economy for the Denver Business Journal and writes for the “Finance Etc.” blog. Phone: 303-803-9230.

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