Monthly Archives: November 2013

Creativity Trumps Calamity: Bringing the Regional Patent Office to Silicon Valley

No Comments
November 20  |  Federal Issues  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Creativity is almost always the result of calamity.

On November 19, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and I announced at a news conference that our long-sought regional patent office is back on-track, set to open at San Jose City Hall in late 2014.

Finally, after four-plus years of effort, this dream will become a reality.

Yet our goal to secure a regional patent office was faced with significant hurdles:

  • Hurdle one: Securing language in the America Invents Act legislation that President Obama signed in September 2011. Without the stewardship of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and her colleagues, language allowing for three competitively selected regional patent offices would never have been included.
  • Hurdle two: Competing against 500 other bids for just three regional offices was difficult, especially because cost of living was a key criteria in the selection process.
  • Hurdle three: The sequester. Even though America’s patent system is funded by fees from America’s innovators and entrepreneurs, the federal government held it hostage in the sequester process. Once again, creativity overcomes calamity, especially in innovative Silicon Valley. Mayor Reed offered space at City Hall. Assembly Speaker John Perez secured funds for the office. Congressmembers Lofgren, Anna Eshoo and Mike Honda championed the cause within the Capitol and our own Silicon Valley Leadership Group pushed for a solution around the sequester.

The result – in late 2014 the Silicon Valley office will open. Patent examiners and judges will meet with innovators and entrepreneurs in the heart of America’s innovation economy – rather than making inventors travel all the way to Alexandria, Virginia to file and protect their patents.

So like Silicon Valley – we see a problem and design a solution. Creativity once again trumps calamity.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Women Leaders: From the Classroom to the Board Room

No Comments
November 6  |  Education  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . My professional title is CEO, but my favorite title is “daddy.”

Raising two little girls – Jessica, 8, and Siena, 4 – has reinforced the work we must collectively do to empower more women leaders.

The statistics, even in egalitarian Silicon Valley, are startling:

  • While 51 percent of our population is female, only 18 percent of the students studying engineering in American universities are women.
  • Only 4 percent of corporate executives are women, and according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, women make up only 9 percent of corporate board directors in Silicon Valley.

For Silicon Valley to remain economically competitive, we need to raise all of our kids – girls and boys; Hispanics and Asians, Blacks and Caucasians – to succeed in school and in society.

In 2014, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group plans to step up its efforts – with more Women & Girls Leadership Summits, with our inaugural Men & Boys Leadership Summit, through our 1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds tutoring initiative, the Educare Early Childhood Learning Center in East San Jose, and our inaugural Heart & Soles 5K fun run for healthy meals for kids.

Our daughters, and sons, need mentors and role models, coupled with inspiration and opportunities, to rise and reach their full potential. To join any of our efforts, please contact me at cguardino@svlg.org. To grow the role of women in our board rooms, we must ensure the success of young girls in our classrooms.

Tagged , , , , , ,