Report: Colorado patent office would create jobs

A satellite office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would employ almost 960 people and generate $439 million in economic activity in its first five years if located in Colorado, according to a new report.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s office released the report Tuesday. It contains economic data, workforce statistics and educational information on the proposed patent and trademark satellite office. The report also includes more than 50 letters of support from Colorado lawmakers, business leaders, universities, economic development organizations and chambers of commerce.

The report comes as Colorado business leaders and lawmakers continue their push to urge the Patent and Trademark Office to choose the state as a location for a new satellite patent office. That push has included letters from Colorado’s congressional delegation to President Barack Obama.

Last week, Denver lawyers and a senior adviser for business affairs in Bennet’s office, visited Washington, D.C., to deliver the report to the Patent and Trademark Office. Bennet’s office and the separate offices of the lawyers, John R. Posthumus and Thomas D. Franklin, collaborated with the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation to create the report with help from the Denver mayor’s office and governor’s office.

The effort to locate the patent office in Colorado has drawn broad support following an amendment sponsored by Bennet and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall that allows the Patent and Trademark Office to establish three new offices nationwide during the next three years.

“A satellite patent office in Colorado would help our bioscience sector get patents approved more efficiently and help bring life-saving technology and medicines to patients more quickly and safely,” Holli Reibel, president and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association, said in a statement issued by Bennet’s office.

Northern Colorado businesses were among the organizations that wrote letters supporting the satellite patent office.

An office would increase the quality and number of intellectual property professionals in the region that could offer services for reasonable prices, Jeff Poore, president and chief operating officer of Loveland-based Numerica Corporation, wrote in a letter.

The company develops advanced algorithms and software for the defense industry and U.S. government.

Numerica often works with professionals in Washington, D.C., in its patent applications. That process can be expensive and places the company at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace, Poore wrote.

“Colorado has got a thriving small business high-tech community,” he said in an interview. “Certainly having an office here in Colorado, we think, will in a lot of ways level the playing field between small business and big business.”

The Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation also wrote a letter supporting the effort.

An office particularly could aid NASA’s efforts to work with businesses that plan to locate at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology in Loveland, economic development corporation CEO Walt Elish said in an interview.

“It would be a great plus for the metro Denver region and hopefully Larimer County,” Elish said.

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