July 11, 2012
By DAVE MICHAELS
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will open a regional office in North Texas by 2014, creating as many as 125 new jobs, officials announced Monday.
The expansion is the first move beyond the Washington area in the agency’s 210-year history. New satellite offices, also planned for Denver and Silicon Valley, are expected to help speed patent approvals and could reduce costs for inventors.
The selection process was competitive, with business groups across the country vying to land a patent outpost. North Texas was selected for its abundance of engineering talent, research universities, modest cost of living and convenient travel options, federal officials said.
“This was a highly competitive process, so the people of the Dallas area should indeed be proud to have been selected,” acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said.
Texas ranked second among U.S. states in patent approvals last year. North Texas ranked 12th among U.S. metro areas in the number of patents awarded between 2006 and 2010, according to patent office statistics....
Those reforms are expected to increase the volume of patent applications, making local offices all the more necessary, said Xuan-Thao Nguyen, a professor of intellectual property law at Southern Methodist University....