The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's first satellite location made its official debut in Detroit this week, drawing the attention of established and aspiring innovators across the state.
The 31,000-square-foot riverfront facility will eventually employ 125 judges, patent examiners and support staff, but the economic impact will likely extend far beyond the building's walls. A short drive away in Ann Arbor, officials from the University of Michigan's thriving technology transfer office are expecting the new branch to help alleviate some of the administrative congestion it has encountered in its USPTO dealings.
"We plan to keep this office busy," university president Mary Sue Coleman told AnnArbor.com. "This office helps move us closer to our goal of being able to commercialize our inventions."
On a smaller but no less important level, the USPTO facility is also inspiring optimism among local entrepreneurs. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, medical device designer Julie Hyde-Edwards noted that she has been working her way through her first patent approval process for more than three years. Progress has picked up following the announcement of the satellite office, however, with her next meeting with examiners set to take place early next month via a conference call from the Detroit location.