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A Better Partnership


Feb 2012
February 14, 2012

New Detroit Patent Office a Vote of Confidence in Michigan Innovation

Slated to open in July, the Detroit satellite branch of the U.S. Patent Trade Office is a “vote of confidence in Michigan as an innovation leader,” according to Warner Norcross & Judd LLP partner Charles E. Burpee.

Burpee, who chairs the firm’s Technology and Intellectual Property Group, said the Detroit office will have tremendous benefits for Michigan inventors.  A probably focus on the auto industry and more face-to-face opportunities to interact will help patent applicants and reduce wait times, Burpee said.

“While some of the details are still in the preliminary stages, locating a satellite office in Detroit is a vote of confidence in Michigan as an innovation leader,” Burpee said. “As the Patent Office selects satellite locations, it presumably will select places where the Patent Office expects to see continuing and growing innovation – and that speaks well for our state.”

Burpee said the new Detroit office could reduce the wait time between filing for and receiving a patent for local inventors and companies.  He also said the new satellite office will:
  • Likely have a subset of examiners focused on selected aspects of the auto industry.  “For our auto supplier clients in particular, this will give them greater access to the examiners who will be handling their applications,” Burpee said.
  • Be home to several judges on the U.S. Patent Office Board of Appeals, which is a “clear indication to patent attorneys that the Detroit Office will be a full-service office,” Burpee noted.
  • Allow for greater face-to-face conversations with examiners.  “As a general proposition, it’s easier, faster and better to get things done face-to-face than through correspondence and telephone calls,” Burpee said.

The new office will be located at 300 River Place Drive in a former Parke-Davis office located along the Detroit River.  When fully operational, the new office expects to hire as many as 100 employees.

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