When David Kappos took over the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2009, he faced a seemingly insurmountable task: The office was dealing with a backlog of more than 750,000 patent applications, with an average wait time of three-to-four years.

So when President Obama stepped in, signing the America Invents Act into law, Kappos could breathe a sigh of relief. The legislation gave the office funding to open three new satellite offices outside of its Alexandria, Virginia, headquarters to deal with the patent backlog.

After an extensive search for its location, the USPTO found, what it believed, to be the best city to house its new patent office: Detroit.

The office will occupy 31,000 square feet at 300 River Place Drive. The building, situated on the banks of the Detroit River, is listed on the National Historic Registry and was the former home to Parke-Davis Laboratories as well as the Stroh's Brewery Headquarters. Come July, the office will hire 100 patent examiners with experience in intellectual property.

But why Motor City? Why not, say, San Francisco? Or Boston? Or New York? Patents are important to start-ups for a variety of reasons, so why not choose a place known for business formation and innovation?

Richard Maulsby, the acting chief communications officer of the USPTO, says that's exactly why Detroit was the perfect place for the office.

"The USPTO considered many factors before making its final decision to locate its first new satellite office in Detroit," he says. "The city fulfilled a number of critical criteria, including a high percentage of scientists and engineers in the workforce; access to major research institutions; a high volume of patenting activity; and a significant number of patent agents and attorneys in the area."

Click HERE to read the full article by Eric Markowitz on Inc. (dot) com! 


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