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Sequestration Cuts Put Permanent Silicon Valley U.S. Patent Office On Hold

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The search for a permanent patent office in Silicon Valley has reportedly been put on hold – indefinitely.

According to a report published Monday in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the General Services Administration advised prospective landlords in late May that the process might be delayed, for an undetermined length of time, because of the sequester-related budget cuts to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

According to sources cited in the article, prospective landlords had earlier expected that a decision would be forthcoming in July, with a targeted move-in date of April 2014. The GSA was reportedly considering locations in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, San Jose and Santa Clara for a permanent patent office.

In March, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened a temporary, 4,700 sq. ft. satellite patent office in Menlo Park. By contrast, the anticipated permanent office was expected to be 35,000 to 40,000 sq. ft.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal notes that the patent office is primarily funded by fees and not taxpayers. However, since sequester took effect March 1, 5% of fees, $148 million by some estimates, have been diverted to the federal government’s general fund.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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