What the US Patent and Trademark Office is doing for startups and Dallas

This year, downtown Dallas will be the home to one of the US Patent and Trademark Office’s satellite offices.

“In an era where our stakeholders’ businesses are rapidly evolving and the intellectual property (IP) landscape is constantly adapting to new and emergent technologies, it’s important to ensure the USPTO can engage effectively with communities, industries, and innovators,” said Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Director of the USPTO, in a recent blog post.

The USPTO has expanded services recently, and as part of those efforts, they’ll be opening a Dallas office at the end of 2015.

“Our satellite offices play a crucial role in these efforts,” said Lee, “assisting inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in their respective regions, while supporting our core mission of fostering American innovation and competitiveness.”

Why Dallas? Besides the strong number of patent applications and the affordability of the cost of living here, the USPTO felt that the location made sense. “And we’re focused on stimulating economic growth, in addition to meeting the needs of the USPTO,” said Lee, when she visited Dallas last week.

While in town, Lee visited the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, where the USPTO plans to hold office hours. A kiosk will be set up at there later this year, so that the startups and community there have access to the patent office headquarters in Alexandria, Va., by simply using the phone provided. (Yes, a USPTO bat phone.)

The temporary Dallas satellite office, which employs 12 administrative patent judges, is now at the Sante Fe federal building on Commerce Street. The new patent office will be at the Terminal Annex Federal Building on Houston St., with a goal of 100 examiners and 20 administrative patent judges on staff, as well as several support staff, by the end of the first year of operation.

Rachel Winstead

Rachel is a freelance writer and works at Soap Hope in downtown Dallas. She hates the term "disrupt," tweets about startups, and appreciates a well-crafted hashtag.