SAN JOSE — The U.S. Commerce Department has announced plans to open a long-awaited patent office in Silicon Valley, the world's top region for patent filers.
Commerce officials said Tuesday the city of San Jose is donating two years of rent-free office space in San Jose City Hall, where more than 80 new patent judges and reviewers will help inventors and entrepreneurs cut through red tape. The California Assembly speaker's office is also donating $500,000 for the office.
"It's a great relief," said U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., who has pressed for years to bring the office to his constituents.
"This is going to really help our entrepreneurs protect intellectual property, help them attract capital, and bottom line, it's going to create jobs," Honda said.
San Jose is the nation's top patent-producing city, with more than 7,000 patents sought last year, and California is the nation's patent leader, with seven of the top 10 patent-producing cities. But for more than 200 years, patent seekers needed to visit offices in Alexandria, Va., if they wanted to meet with a patent judge.