U.S. Patent and Trademark Office | KERA News

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

What do a medicinal face mask, a vehicle parking system and a pet toy squirrel have in common? They were all created and recently patented by inventors in North Texas. Every year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office receives hundreds of thousands of applications; so many, it’s hard to keep up.

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened a regional branch in Dallas to a lot of fanfare within the entrepreneurial community. Its arrival is at a time where there’s a major backlog of patents waiting to be issued. 

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It can be tricky to pin down a patent troll.

 

Gil Gillam, artist and attorney with Gillam & Smith LLP in Marshall, Texas.

East Texas is known for its Piney Woods, Caddo Lake, maybe for sweet potatoes. It’s also the patent lawsuit capitol of the country. More patent infringement cases are brought to Eastern District courts than anywhere else. There’s pressure to root out the so-called “patent trolls”.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

For the first time since it opened in 1790, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is expanding outside of Washington, D.C. The agency – which has a team of more than 8,000 patent examiners – has established regional offices in four cities across the United States, including Dallas.