United States

Silicon Valley Inventors Rejoice: Patent Office Opens in San Jose

Inventors of Silicon Valley rejoice.

For the first time in its 225-year history, the US closest Patent and Trademark Office opened a regional office in San Jose, right next to City Hall.

Dignitaries showed up Thursday at a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony at 26 South 4th St. to herald the new multimillion building that took about eight years and $5 million to come to fruition. One in eight patents come from Silicon Valley, according to the patent office.

It's just one of just three in the United States outside of the main headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Denver and Detroit are the other two satellite offices nationwide, along with a partnership with Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. An office in Dallas opens in November.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said that inventors throughout the valley have been telling the city for years how difficult it can be dealing with the red tape of getting a patent approved when you're stuck on the West coast and the main patent office is on the East Coast. Now innovators - especially those who are young and not yet established - don't have to spend the time and money it takes to fly to Virginia to press their case in front of a patent officer or judge. Those people - 80 patent officers and 80 judges - are now right here in Silicon Valley.

"Proximity does matter," Liccardo said. "Relationships are hard to build online."

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