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.