Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Section 23. Satellite offices

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A patent reform act passed by Congress on September 16, 2011.

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(a) ESTABLISHMENT.--Subject to available resources, the Director shall, by not later than the date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, establish 3 or more satellite offices in the United States to carry out the responsibilities of the Office.

(b) PURPOSES.--The purposes of the satellite offices established under subsection (a) are to--

(1) increase outreach activities to better connect patent filers and innovators with the Office;

(2) enhance patent examiner retention;

(3) improve recruitment of patent examiners;

(4) decrease the number of patent applications waiting for examination; and

(5) improve the quality of patent examination.


(1) IN GENERAL.--In selecting the location of each satellite office to be established under subsection (a), the Director--

(A) shall ensure geographic diversity among the offices, including by ensuring that such offices are established in different States and regions throughout the Nation;

(B) may rely upon any previous evaluations by the Office of potential locales for satellite offices, including any evaluations prepared as part of the Office's Nationwide Workforce Program that resulted in the 2010 selection of Detroit, Michigan, as the first satellite office of the Office;

(C) shall evaluate and consider the extent to which the purposes of satellite offices listed under subsection (b) will be achieved;

(D) shall consider the availability of scientific and technically knowledgeable personnel in the region from which to draw new patent examiners at minimal recruitment cost; and

(E) shall consider the economic impact to the region.

(2) OPEN SELECTION PROCESS.--Nothing in paragraph (1) shall constrain the Office to only consider its evaluations in selecting the Detroit, Michigan, satellite office.

(d) REPORT TO CONGRESS.--Not later than the end of the third fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director shall submit a report to Congress on--

(1) the rationale of the Director in selecting the location of any satellite office required under subsection (a), including an explanation of how the selected location will achieve the purposes of satellite offices listed under subsection (b) and how the required considerations listed under subsection (c) were met;

(2) the progress of the Director in establishing all such satellite offices; and

(3) whether the operation of existing satellite offices is achieving the purposes under subsection (b).