Bill Delahunt: A New England Patent Office Will Boost the Economy
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Winning this national competition for a regional office would be a huge boost our economy the region’s innovators and high tech industry and help create thousands of high tech jobs for New England.
It is common knowledge that our region has a rich history of innovation. Our large cluster of higher education institutions and our cutting edge medical and biotech research centers are known around the world. In our region, Yankee ingenuity has nothing to do with baseball.
The recently enacted America Invents Act (AIA) has created an exciting opportunity for us. It authorizes the federal government to establish three satellite offices. While these offices will deal with the backlog of patent applications, over time they will foster strong and effective relationships with patent applicants and be a huge boost to the high tech sector.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director is tasked with evaluating and selecting suitable locations that meet the criteria laid out in the AIA. The sites selected for satellite offices will gain substantial direct economic benefits, and more importantly enhance their stature as intellectual property hubs with the resources required for entrepreneurs and the high tech economy.
Detroit, Michigan has already won one of the offices. Two more satellite offices are now up for grabs. The New York delegation and a host of companies have been pushing for an office in Albany. Officials in Colorado, San Jose and Silicon Valley are engaged in aggressive campaigns to win an office for their region as well. They have worked hard and developed coordinated and very aggressive campaigns.
Given the obvious advantages of New England over all those locations – our concentration of R&D, expansive venture capital and private equity, the best universities in the country, numerous industries with extensive patent portfolios – it would be an embarrassment if this region were NOT to be selected.
While the region’s Congressional delegation has weighed in to support an office in New England, it is critical that the business community weigh in as well. While local bar associations, patent lawyers and a handful of businesses have weighed in, much stronger support from the business community is needed. Without the active support of our business community, the odds are high that this opportunity could very well pass us by.
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