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USPTO Denver Office Opens Amid High Hopes

John Posthumus was quoted in a June 30, 2014 Managing IP article about the opening of a satellite USPTO in Denver and the effort it took to open a USPTO in the region. Denver, the first of three new USPTO satellite offices to open, following the opening of Detroit’s satellite office in 2012, is expected to help improve the quality and transparency of the USPTO while helping reduce pending patent applications on a national scale.

John Posthumus, shareholder at Sheridan Ross, who worked for five years to bring a USPTO office to the region, told Managing IP that satellite offices are long overdue.

“The concept that you need to operate in one location, which the USPTO has historically done for over 200 years, is antiquated because in large part the patent files and the hard copy files have all been digitized,” he said. “There was a reason that you operated in one location: because you had that repository of files all there. That obviously is no longer the case. Examiners can do all of their searching online so they don’t have any physical files on their desks anymore.

The opening of a USPTO in Denver was the result of a big effort undertaken by Colorado’s intellectual property community, local business leaders, governors and politicians to make the office a reality. A delegation of leaders including Posthumus, Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, and others pushed hard for Denver to be one of those offices. In July 2012, the USPTO announced it would open officesin Denver, Dallas and Silicon Valley.

The USPTO said Denver was chosen for reasons including occupational clusters, the number of patent attorneys and agents in the region, the number of patent applications by state, access to universities, transportation infrastructure, and economic factors related to hiring and retention including the percentage of engineers in the workforce.

“Having a patent office puts Denver, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain area on the map as it relates to innovation,” said Posthumus. “It will shine a spotlight and provide a jumpstart and stimulus to promote further growth in those areas here in Colorado.”

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