Permanent Silicon Valley Patent Office Idea Shelved

Temporary patent office in Menlo Park will have to suffice.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013  |  Updated 11:31 AM PDT
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The 1849 model of Samuel Morse's telegraph machine. It had a patent, like other innovations of its day. A move to put a permanent patent office in Silicon Valley, the home of American innovation of today, is on hold.

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The federal government's effort to put a permanent patent office in Silicon Valley is on hold -- indefinitely, according to reports.

"Unforeseen budget changes" -- as in sequestration, the automatic across-the-board budget cuts put into place earlier this year -- mean the General Services Administration is no longer looking for office space in Silicon Valley, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The news is "frustrating" for the likes of Carl Guardino, a local business leader whose lobbying group, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, had been looking for office space for a South Bay patent office for over three years, the newspaper reported.

Regional patent offices were supposed to be opened across the country after a 2011 law called the America Invents Act.

Rep. Mike Honda, the San Jose Democrat who backed a Silicon Valley office, has introdued a law in Congress that would exempt a San Jose or nearby patent office from sequestration, but the bill has yet to be heard.

A temporary patent office is operating now in Menlo Park, the newspaper reported, but it is only about a tenth of the size of what the full-sized office would be.

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