From beer to brains: First-ever U.S. Patent satellite office opening in former Detroit brewery

Posted on July 20, 2012

A place once known for producing beer in Detroit will now help spur “innovation and creativity” across the U.S., according to officials.

Friday officially marked the opening of the Elijah J. McCoy U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit — the first-ever Patent and Trademark Office outside of Washington, D.C.

The Detroit USPTO, located in the former headquarters of Stroh Brewery Co., will create approximately 120 highly-skilled jobs in its first year of operations alone. About 25 employees are expected to start Monday, according to officials.

“By opening the doors to America’s first-ever satellite patent office in Detroit, we are going to put more patents in the hands of entrepreneurs throughout this region and across the country,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank in a statement. “The McCoy office will make America’s patent system stronger, empowering America’s innovators to attract capital, put their business plans into action, and create more good jobs for the middle class.”

Blank and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos were joined by public officials Friday at a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the office.

Intellectual property experts in the office will work closely with entrepreneurs and help further reduce the backlog of patent applications and appeals, according to officials. Reducing the backlog of patents and simultaneously speeding up the process will allow businesses to move their innovation to market more quickly, saving critical time and resources.

The new office is the first to open out of four recently-announced USPTO satellite offices in Dallas, Denver, and Silicon Valley. Selection of the four sites was based upon a comprehensive analysis of criteria including geographical diversity, regional economic impact, potential ability to recruit and retain employees, ability to engage the intellectual property community, and extensive public comment.

The Detroit satellite office, located in a building that is listed on the National Historic Registry, is a 31,000-square-foot space at 300 River Place Drive.

By: Michael Wayland, MLive