Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Patent office brings its services a lot closer to Colorado Springs

by WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com - Published: April 16, 2014

Denver may be an hour or so away from Colorado Springs, but for Pikes Peak area residents looking for patent information and help, it's a lot better than traveling more than 1,600 miles to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's headquarters in Alexandria, Va.

Since last year, the patent office has been operating a temporary satellite office in Denver. By early July, the agency will open its permanent office in downtown Denver with about 125 patent examiners, administrate judges and other personnel, allowing Coloradans to use the agency's services without leaving the state.

John Cabeca, director of the office in San Jose, Calif., said the Denver office will host a series of meetings about options available to protect product or service ideas and other intellectual property through patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade names. The permanent office also will include a search room where businesses can use the same computer system and software used by federal patent examiners to conduct customized searches of federal databases of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade names. While patents can be filed online, examiners and patent trial and appeal board judges are only at the agency's offices.

"Americans are innately drawn to innovation. We are seeing startup communities emerge all over the country," said Cabeca, who will be speaking about the new office Thursday at an event in Colorado Springs. "Denver has an emerging startup community and entrepreneurial vibe where small businesses and individual inventors seek patent protection, and we will be prepared to begin engaging with them, startup incubators and venture capitalists in Denver, across the rest of the state and the entire Mountain Time Zone to make sure they know what resources we have available for them."

The patent office has been branching out under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, signed into law in 2011 by President Barack Obama to modernize the U.S. patent system. It opened its first satellite office in 2012 in Detroit. Last year, it added temporary offices in Dallas, Denver and San Jose last year, staffed mostly with administrative judges that decide patent appeals to help reduce the backlog of such cases. Patent examiners will added as the permanent offices open.

The agency says the satellite office in Denver is expected to become a hub of innovation and creativity, designed to help entrepreneurs from Colorado and surrounding areas obtain patents and other legal protections needed to attract capital and put their business plans into action.

Patents are the engine that drives the U.S. economy, according to a U.S. Commerce Department study that found intellectual property-intensive industries generated more than $5 trillion for the U.S. economy in 2010.

Cabeca will give a presentation from 10-11:15 a.m. Thursday at he Pinery at the Hill, 775 W. Bijou St., about the satellite office as part of Innovate Colorado Springs, a series of events designed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. For more information on the event and Innovate Colorado Springs, go to www.innovatecos.com. Thursday is the final day of the four-day event.

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John Cabeca of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's will talk about the agency's new satellite office from 10-11:15 a.m. Thursday at the Pinery at the Hill, 775 W. Bijou St. His talk is part of Innovate Colorado Springs, a series of events to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. For more information on the talk and Innovate Colorado Springs, go to www.innovatecos.com. Thursday is the final day of the four-day event.

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