DENVER — The old Byron Rogers Federal Building downtown is now home to a key piece of Colorado’s economic future, the first permanent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office west of the Mississippi River.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democrat whose 2011 legislation created four new satellite USPTO office — one in each time zone — as a means toward easing a backlog at the main office in Washington, DC, celebrated the office’s opening Monday along with a host of lawmakers and dignitaries.
“Colorado is leading the charge for the country’s innovation economy because we have people and businesses that have discovery and exploration woven into their DNA,” Bennet said. “From the 19th century gold prospectors who charted their own course through the Rocky Mountain West, to the modern-day entrepreneurs who are blazing new trails through fields like bioscience, clean energy, high-tech, and advanced manufacturing, our state has always been led by genius visionaries and fearless risk-takers who dared to dream big.”
“Denver’s selection as a satellite patent office location is recognition of that reputation and trend, and today begins Colorado’s chapter in the centuries-old story of the world’s great intellectual property system,” Bennet added. “The office will strengthen our state’s economic recovery. Bringing resources like the USPTO closer to innovators is one step towards tying job and wage growth to economic growth.”
The office plans to hire 120 patent judges and examiners in its first year, creating high-paying jobs in house and likely hundreds if not thousands more in growing Colorado’s innovation industries.
The estimated impact on Colorado’s economy: $440 million over the first five years.
“You’re going to find innovative companies that use the service of the PTO who are going to want to locate near the office,” said Michelle K. Lee, acting USPTO director.