The General Services Administration, which directs the procurement of federal office space, indefinitely canceled its plans to find a permanent home for the USPTO's Silicon Valley satellite location. It remains to be seen whether the pressure imposed by local legislators and industrial leaders in the coming weeks will be enough to convince federal officials to stretch slim budgets in the name of enabling procedural efficiency and business innovation.
The USPTO is currently facing approximately $150 million in budget cuts on account of federal sequestration measures, and GSA officials are reportedly uncertain whether a permanent Silicon Valley satellites office could be leased and staffed with the USPTO under such financial duress. While the current site will remain active, Congressional spokesmen confirmed, the 4,700 square foot facility's administrative output is only a fraction of what could be achieved in the 30,000 to 40,000 square feet planned for a permanent location.
According to Managing Intellectual Property, the Silicon Valley stalemate comes at a time when USPTO filings are increasing by approximately 5 percent a year across the country. Additionally, the agency's existing backlog remained at over 90,000 applications as of last confirmation in April.
Perhaps the most compelling argument in favor of expedited approval of a permanent satellite office location is the anticipated impact on litigation. According to the news source, several critics have asserted that the scourge of frivolous lawsuit engulfing the patent community stems from overly-broad applications granted approval by overtaxed examiners.