U.S. Patent Office to open Detroit satellite site

DETROIT (AP) -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has picked Detroit as the place to open its first satellite facility.

Federal officials said last Thursday the new office could be open in mid-2011 with about 100 patent examiners and other employees.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said opening satellite offices away from the Washington area is part of the agency's strategy to become more efficient. It now takes about three years to approve or reject a patent application and officials want to cut that to one year.

Officials said Detroit was chosen because of the area's high percentage of scientists and engineers, including some with auto industry background. The region also has major research universities.

The agency expects to open offices in other regions later.

Published: Mon, Dec 20, 2010